Library Update

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Photo by Lester Smith

Viewed through the big northwest window on May 11, the upper level of the Kent Memorial Library, emptied of its books, furniture, and shelving, waits patiently for the anticipated PCB remediation project. The only piece of equipment in the area is the children’s play house in front of the Garden Court window. The space at the right is the former magazine closet, which later became a locked space for certain historical items and a convenient catch-all spot.

The Observer reported last month that the Permanent Building Commission voted to reject all of the several proposals that had been submitted on April 18, as the lowest offered a contract price of $1.45 M for the necessary PCB remediation work. Facilities Manager Julie Oakes quickly changed the Request for Quotation, allowing a new choice of coating removal method, including grit blasting, and allowing the work start date to slip to the fall, when labor costs would likely be lower.

Three bids for the newly defined task were received by May 16 and discussed by the Commission at their May 17 meeting.  The lowest was $1.298 M, from Bestech of Ellington; the next was $1.385 M, from Hazpros, of West Hartford; the highest was $1.498 M, from AAIS, of West Haven. All three are creditable companies in the field, according to consultant Bob May. The Commission decided to invite each of the bidders to separate interviews on May 30.

Otherwise, little is happening at the building, as other projects, including the re-configured historical room, the bathroom renovations, and the new auditorium seating, must await the successful completion of the PCB remediation. Their costs and various “soft cost” allowances will add significantly to the full cost of the library project.

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