On May 1, 2023 at Town Meeting, I provided a short update on the Abbot Public Library renovations. The project has been moving forward with great progress and is nearly 20% complete.
After the Override was approved in June 2021, we spent the next 15 months developing architectural and engineering plans. Then, after minor renovations were completed at the Eveleth School, we moved into our interim space in the early Fall and opened on October 17, 2022. After contracts were awarded, construction began in January of this year. We anticipate moving into the renovated space in Spring 2024.
The budget for this project is now $10 million. This includes the Town Override of $8.5 million plus another $1 million provided by the Abbot Public Library Foundation. When we started working through the estimates, we realized that our original budget wasn’t going to go as far as we had planned. The Foundation then awarded another half a million dollars to cover the higher cost of materials. Committed costs include contractor fees, moving costs, renovations at Eveleth School, insurance, construction costs. Current uncommitted costs are just under half a million dollars and include furniture, computers, audio visual equipment. We have a modest amount of $250,000 set aside for contingency and the total projected costs are coming in at just under $10 million dollars.
We are currently on budget, making great progress with demolition, and the subcontractors are on schedule. The team of architects, project managers and contractors meets weekly on site with me and Chair of the Building Renovation Committee Gary Amberik to discuss project updates, schedule, potential change orders and budget. The Building Renovation Committee meets twice a month to discuss project updates.
Members of the Driftwood Garden Club will be going on site to collect plants and shrubs they would like to keep before site work begins. They will also maintain the front lawn gardens throughout the project. Demolition, wall framing, roofing, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing will continue over the months. Selection of furnishings and technology elements will be planned for the Fall.
Some of the overall improvements include the heating and air conditioning system, electrical, flooring, ceilings. The highest level of design reorganization is on the Main Level, opening up space, making that space more accessible, adding meeting rooms, removing staircases and adding a new section that’s much easier to use.
In the Lower Level, work is concentrated in the entrance hallway, the Teen Room and the Carten Gallery. We’re adding a project studio and a sound booth.
A new entrance to the garden was added recently, ensuring access for all.
Thank you to the Town of Marblehead for supporting the renovation project. Special thanks to Gary Amberik for his service as Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Building Renovation Committee. Thanks also to the other members of the Board of Trustees (John Williams, Jennifer Jewell, Ann McGreevy, Deb Payson and David Ross) and to the members of the Building Renovation Committee (Nancy Arata, Kathy Bradford, Ken Fisher, and John Williams and our partners at Johnson Roberts Associates and CHA Consulting). Our thanks extends to all of the groups that support our work. A more complete list can be found in the 2022 Town Report.