Library's Expansion  | Newspaper Articles

Bids for library opened - Offers higher than expected
Matthew Bruun, Telegram & Gazette, June 10, 2005

LEOMINSTER - Library officials will meet next week to discuss the construction bids that were opened yesterday at City Hall, showing prices that were slightly higher than had been estimated for the major expansion and renovation project.

Fontaine Bros. of Springfield submitted the low bid of $9,077,000, purchasing agent Gregory C. Chapdelaine said. There were three bids for general contracting services, with the other bids $500,000 and $800,000 higher than Fontaine's.The estimated $10.8 million price tag for the project includes construction as well as furnishings, telecommunications and wiring for the building, which will double the size of the facility at 30 West St. The $10.8 million sum also includes 16 months of rent for the library's temporary quarters at the Crossroads Office Park on Mechanic Street.

Before bids were sought, officials estimated construction costs would be around $8.5 million.

Library Director Susan T. Shelton was among those in attendance when Mr. Chapdelaine opened the bids yesterday morning.

"It is higher than we estimated," she said. The building committee will discuss the bids next week, she continued, but the difference between early projections and the contract cost will likely be covered by increased private fund-raising.

Mr. Chapdelaine said he was happy with the bids, noting he had girded himself for a steeper price because of rising costs of oil, wood and steel.

"We thought that would drive the price more," he said. "I look at these as very aggressive pricing, to our benefit."

Fontaine Bros. is a familiar name in public buildings. The contractor built the $22 million Sky View Middle School in Leominster and is also building the new public library in Lunenburg.

Mr. Chapdelaine said the contractor's familiarity with Leominster and the proximity of its equipment to an ongoing site likely helped in keeping the bid low.

Ms. Shelton said ground could be broken as soon as next month on the project.



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