The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 4, 2014

New library moves into $2.4M Phase II

County Commission OK's agenda items

— The new Athens-Limestone Public Library is entering the home stretch as city and county officials accepted on Monday $2.4 million in bid packages for the project’s Phase II interior work.

Library officials are hoping for an August completion date for the $6.2 million, two-phase renovation of the former Kroger’s grocery building on South Jefferson Street.

Bazan Painting Company, Cornerstone, Dean & Son Plumbing, FL Crane & Sons and H&N Construction are listed as the low-bid contractors for Phase II, which was approved at $2,430,787 and is expected to get underway in early April.

The cost breakdown includes $50,000 for contingencies and $150,000 for general contractor Limestone Building Group. The Phase I exterior, which cost $3.2 million, began work in June 2013 and wrapped up in December.

The Library Foundation is spearheading an ongoing $6 million-plus capital campaign to pay for construction, moving costs and furnishings for the 38,427-square-foot building.

The goal now is to bring in $450,000 to $500,000 in additional donations and pledges, said fundraising consultant Debbie Joyner during the foundation’s Feb. 20 board meeting.

“Now that we know the final cost, we can make a final (fundraising) push,” Joyner said.

She said there are approximately $171,000 in outstanding pledges, with a $500,000 planned estate gift also earmarked toward the new library.

The city and county jointly owned the $643,874 Kroger property and previously agreed to provide it to the new library project.

Agenda action

The County Commission approved the following items during the county-only portion of Monday’s meeting:

• an amendment to the health services agreement with Southern Health Partners to extend the fiscal 2014 renewal period for another seven months with no fee increase through Sept. 30;

• a $301,901 agreement with Morell Engineering for pre-engineering design and survey work for seven roadway projects through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program;

• promotion of Rickey Smith to assistant superintendent of county buildings effective April 1;

• transferring Matthew Williamson to the paving crew as equipment operator, level two, and Laura Then to tax collection clerk in the Revenue Commissioner’s Office;

• merit increases for Ronald Andris, Bobbi Bailey, Brandon Baker, Carma Boyd, Justin Flanagan, Jimmy Gatlin II, Joshua James, Joey Liginfelter, Janice Miller, Loren Norwood, Haley Wilborn and Shirley Yarbough; and

• a $22,165 change order for judicial benches in the platform area of the temporary courthouse in the former Better Living building.

The commission will hold a work session at 10 a.m. March 12 at the Washington Street courthouse annex.


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