Kirstie Venanzi, President of the Library Board of Trustee, attended the Township Committee Meeting on Monday, August 14 to update the Committee Members on the outcome of the bidding process. She reported:
The Bids were opened publicly in the library on Wednesday, July 26, following the rules of municipal bidding. We had 17 bidders, with total base costs ranging from $3.09 MM to $3.96 MM. The three lowest bidders were given to the architect and lawyer to qualify.
The three lowest bidders did come in all clustered around $ 3.1 MM. This was definitely in the higher range of what we were expecting. With $2.5 MM in the bank, the township site funds, and the township requirement for 5% contingency funds, the cost results in a $400,000 gap before we could break ground.
Click the image below to see a breakout of costs and funds.
The bid packet included several “options” such as millwork and a new circulation desk, but the base bids represented the minimum required to build an operational public library and community center. We do not see any option to reduce the scope of the project without incurring significant additional architecture and engineering costs.
The Library Board has until September 27 to respond to the bids. We plan on taking this full amount of time in order to allow the architect and the lawyer to vet the lowest bidders. This time also allows the foundation to continue to raise funds.
The township also asked for information on our donors. The chart below shows the strong base of community support for the new library.