Common council will meet Tuesday night to consider the bids
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Common Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday night to consider bids received for phase one of the new library and community center project. Phase one of the project, which includes construction of the new Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library and renovation of the existing library to make it into a fully functional community center, was originally conceived as a $7 million project with $3 million coming from the city and $4 million coming from private donations. Phase two of construction is slated to cost $2 million and focuses on making additional enhancements to the new community center.
After bidding out 31 different aspects for phase one, the total bid package came in at a cost of about $8.4 million, $1.4 million higher than originally anticipated.
“Long and short of it is there are a few things that came in a little bit higher than normal, than expected,” said City Administrator Steve Barg.
Barg points out that the construction manager for the project, Boson Company Inc., believes about $300,000 can be saved through “value engineering.” Barg described value engineering as finding “ways to trim costs to meet the actual needs of the project.”
Barg added that this could include looking at originally planned aspects of the project that could be considered “bells and whistles” or not integral and eliminating them to save money.
Additionally, the council agreed earlier this year to allow elements that were anticipated to begin in the second phase of construction — including things like installing stormwater infrastructure and demolishing the current Marshfield Senior Community Center — to be moved up to the first phase of construction, adding about $330,000 worth of originally unanticipated expense to phase one.
Barg said that $4.7 million has been pledged privately for the project, which, when combined with the city’s contribution of $3 million, puts the available funds at $7.7 million. Depending on the extent and success of value engineering efforts, $7.7 million would seem to be nearly enough to complete phase one but not enough to do anything with phase two. Members of the project’s capital campaign are still actively fundraising for the project and believe more money will come in to help bridge this shortfall.
Barg said that the council could consider several options at tomorrow’s meeting, including contributing additional money to complete the project, delaying the project until more private donations can be raised, or to re-scope the project and scale it back to better adhere to costs.
Both phases of the project were originally intended to cost $9 million total.