UPDATE: Construction on new library struggling to meet deadline

By: Katie Wilson, Todd Baucher, Rachele Mongiovi, Aaron Farrar Email
By: Katie Wilson, Todd Baucher, Rachele Mongiovi, Aaron Farrar Email
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Update: 11/10/2015 7:29 PM

PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP): Under construction and behind schedule.

Work continues on Parkersburg's South Side Library.

Crews are currently working on the interior of the library.

The driveway and exterior are also underway, but the weather is slowing them down.

Officials says many factors are holding them back, but they still hope to meet their deadline.

"Construction is behind schedule so that's moved everything back and then it gets tied in with the holidays as far as getting everything set up and ready," said Director Brian Raitz. "We are still trying to be open by the end of the calendar year."

Raitz says he'll know within the next few weeks whether meeting their deadline is do-able or not.

Update: 7/24/2015 3:45 PM

All of the recent storms in the area have left the building of the South Parkersburg Public Library slightly behind schedule.

According to contractors, the bad weather put construction off a few weeks than scheduled.

But the library is still on pace to open by the end of the year. A specific date has yet to be determined.

The biggest setback was having to redo the slab. It slowed down the compacting of rock and gravel, which needs to be done before workers can pour concrete.

"Ever since we first started doing the grading up there, the soil was determined to be very good," said director, Brian Raitz, which some good news for the construction.
"It dries out quickly, it's good hard soil. We've actually been very fortunate with the site for development purposes."

Head contractor Todd Lancaster said his team should be able to make up the time lost. The total cost for the library is estimated to be $2 million.

Update: 6/01/2015 5:20 P.M.

Wet weather this spring has not held up construction of a new Wood County library branch.

Work on the new South Parkersburg branch is on schedule.

The library's director says the heavy rains of early spring originally pushed back that schedule a few weeks.

But workers have managed to catch up, and plans still call for completion by fall.

"When I was just out there today, the slab was poured for the building, and the sidewalks are up to the building," Library Director Brian Raitz said Monday. "You will probably see steel being conducted before too long, in the next week or two."

The new library is being built on a site adjacent to the current, smaller one.

Raitz says, once that's completed, plans will begin for a new entrance to the main library branch on Emerson Avenue.

Update 03/02/2015 5:20 P.M.

Finally-construction of a new Wood County Library branch is under way.

Creating new branches means getting rid of old branches.

Workers cleared trees Monday morning, on the site where the new South Parkersburg library will be built.

The larger library will replace one just two doors down, that's been around for more than 40 years.

"This is one of the insta-libraries they built in the 1970's and into the '80's," says Brian Raitz, Wood County Library Director. "The governor was part of this project throughout the state. This, I believe, is one of the first ones. It was opened in (19)72."

Construction of the new library branch was delayed when bids came in higher than expected.

Raitz says the library board made changes in some of the plans before re-bidding the project.

The new building is expected to be completed by fall.


UPDATE 09/08/2014 4:56 PM

A lot of questions about the new library for South Parkersburg.

Construction hasn't started yet, but the library board is committed to building a new library.

Construction bids were received in august, but came in way over budget.

The library board rejected all bids..and are now working to reduce costs of the building.

They are talking with the architects and engineers to discuss the best way to deliver the new library.

"We are not going to reduce the size of the building, we are not going to change the location, we're still committed to that. We want to make this a comfortable and welcome environment for people to use. We will probably be bidding out at the end of this fall, and if everything goes as planned, instead of this summer 2015, it will be the fall of 2015 when we open up," says Director, Brian Raitz.

A new construction bid date will be determined sometime in November.

The new South Parkersburg library is now another step closer to starting construction.

At Tuesday evening's city council meeting members voted unanimously to approve a 50 year lease to the Parkersburg and Wood County Library for the property on Blizzard Drive where the new South Parkersburg library will be built.

And now that the lease for the land is approved the library just needs to complete some finishing touches before construction begins this summer.

"We're actually having a meeting with the architects on Thursday to do the final costs, run through the designs and using that we'll go through the construction bids and bidding that out probably during the month of July," says Brian Raitz, library director.

The project is expected to take about ten months to complete.

The new facility is set to open sometime next summer.

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