Deadline for library tenders is March 17

Duane Hicks

With the deadline for tenders for the new Fort Frances Public Library and Technology Centre coming up Tuesday, March 17, library board chair Joyce Cunningham is eager to find out whether or not the project will go ahead at long last.
“We’re waiting for it. We’re getting pretty excited. It’s another milestone,” she enthused Thursday. “Our timeline is to still start building in the spring, when the frost is out of the ground.”
While the deadline for tenders was 2 p.m. on March 10, Community Services manager George Bell noted Monday that several contractors who picked up tender packages have requested for the date to be pushed back to a week later (March 17). At that time, the tenders will be opened publicly and read aloud in the committee room downstairs at the Civic Centre. The library building committee then will sit down and examine them shortly afterwards.
“We’ll go over them very, very closely,” Cunningham said. “For that we will be depending strongly on our project manager [Brian Avis] because we are now getting into his area of expertise as opposed to Margaret [Sedgwick’s] and mine.
“We will be looking to make sure that the firm is a reputable firm, that they have the experience and the knowledge to take on such a project,” she stressed.
“We will obviously be making sure that it would be a firm that could keep the integrity of the building, so that we will have that library we can all be proud of.”
“I am excited and anxious, more excited, that we’re finally getting to this point,” echoed Sedgwick.
Prior to getting a look at those tenders, Cunningham said she is “cautiously optimistic” about the project going ahead.
“I think we’ve done everything we possibly could do,” she remarked. “On the direction of council, we made cutbacks, we reduced the size significantly, we have spent a great deal of time looking at everything we could possibly look at.
“I think now, having learned over and over again that this is a project that is supported by the majority of the people in town, we’re confident that we will be moving ahead and we look forward to working with both the contractor and the members of council,” Cunningham added.
The library and technology centre project has a projected building cost of $3,941,871, with an extra $383,371 included both to cover an estimated 12 percent inflation in building and material costs due to delays, as well as re-design fees in the amount of $25,000.
This makes for a total budget of $4,325,242.
The accepted tender has to be approved by council.
In related news, the “Building for the Future” fundraising campaign keeps rising, with the total now standing around $836,700.
Those interested in making a contribution to the campaign can drop by the Fort Frances Public Library and fill out a donation form, or call the library at 274-9876.