SIDNEY — The contractors for the expansion and renovation of Amos Memorial Public Library have been selected.
The Shelby County Libraries Board of Trustees recently approved bids from the Ferguson Construction Company and Area Energy and Electric Inc. for the project.
Shelby County Libraries Executive Director Suzanne Cline was gratified with the board selections.
“We have taken a big step forward today to provide the citizens of Sidney and Shelby County with a modern library facility that will offer community gathering space, children and teen areas, and upgraded technology,” said Cline. “Our staff has consistently made our patrons the focus of their work, and donors have recognized their commitment and acknowledged the need to provide a facility that allows us to continue our efforts in an environment that meets the needs of a modern society.”
Seven companies submitted bids for general contracting with Ferguson Construction emerging as the lowest bidder, selected according to public construction requirements.
“We are very pleased to be part of this important local construction project. It was really nice to see so many local bidders, and we are excited to be building here in Sidney,” said Ferguson Executive VicePresident Doug Fortkamp.
Area Energy and Electric competed with six others and will be responsible for the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC installation. When notified that the board had officially selected his company, Todd Weigandt, CEO and President of Area Energy and Electric Inc., said, “We are excited to be selected to handle all of the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and technology portions on the Amos Library project in Sidney, Ohio. It is an important part of our overall business strategy to stay involved in local construction projects and to support our local communities. A large portion of our workforce lives within our community and I know that the employees will be excited and proud to be a part of this project. It is our intent to provide an outstanding finished product for this project and for the local community.”
Funds for the projected $4.85 million expansion and renovation have been raised privately with $2.5 million of the total coming from library reserves. The Shelby County Libraries operate on revenues from the state Public Library Fund, which is approximately 1.7 percent of the state budget, divided among Ohio’s public libraries. Unlike other library systems throughout the state, no local levy provides additional revenue.
“We are especially happy that local contractors won these bids, making this campaign and construction truly a community effort,” said Cindy Helman, library trustee and campaign director. “We have reached 96 percent of our goal, so we are depending on those donors who yet want to be a part of this project to submit their gifts soon. We have the money to build, based on the remarkable generosity of companies and individuals who have contributed gifts to date, but the degree to which gifts continue to come in will determine the level of function and capability of our services.”
Groundbreaking is projected for spring of this year. At times during the 18-month construction, the library will be closed for short periods to move collections. Those dates will be provided in advance through public announcements and online at the library Facebook page.
Contributions to the renovation and expansion may be delivered to the Community Foundation of Sidney-Shelby County or to any library location in Shelby County with checks payable to the Community Foundation of Sidney-Shelby County, with “library” on the memo line. Pavers are still available at $100 each. Although pavers may be purchased at any time, only pavers acquired before Sept. 1, 2016, will be included as part of the completed construction at the time of dedication of the building. Forms are available, either at any Shelby County Library location, or by downloading from the library website at shelbyco.lib.oh.us.