JACKSON TWP. — Wet weather has been a problem, but Stark County District Library officials remain on schedule to have a new branch opened in North Park in less than 18 months.

Contractor Fred Olivieri Construction, which is located in the township, bid $3.49 million for the project, coming in more than $500,000 lower than the estimated budget.

Plans are for the new library branch and an amphitheater to be built in the park’s southeast section next to the safety center. The library will be close to Fulton Drive NW and Community Parkway NW. The amphitheater will be north of the library toward the center of the park. A plaza and grassy seating area will separate the two structures.

Jackson Township is using state funds to build the amphitheater, while the library is paying for the branch. The projects are separate, but the township is handling site preparation, with the library district reimbursing some costs.

In September, trustees awarded a $559,800 contract to begin clearing the site for construction. Work started but it has been delayed because of rain and snow. There were 16 wet days during November and seven so far in December, according to the statistics collected from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Library officials decided to have lime spread where the branch will be built in order to dry the ground and allow work to start, said Derek Gordon, who manages new construction and renovation project for the library district.

Gordon said the district weighed the cost benefits of using lime or waiting out the weather and decided it would better to act now. The library hopes to have the site ready for construction by March. Gordon said it is expected that a year will be needed to get the new branch build and ready for use.

Township officials, meanwhile, are likely to wait out the weather for grading on the north end of property.

Last summer trustees sought bids for the amphitheater and received only one. The bid was higher than estimated costs, so trustees decided to seek new bids. Michael Vaccaro, the township administrator, said a request for new bids will be made early next year.

The library branch will replace a structure that was closed two years ago. Since then the library has leased space in the Marketplace at Nobles Pond.

 

Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or edd.pritchard@cantonrep.com. On Twitter: @epritchardREP