Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 27, 2012

Library building costs may rise to finish project

Board considering another $36K in expenses

Tribune staff writer

— The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s Outreach Building is looking good from the outside, but library officials indicated this week they’ll need additional funds to complete the project.

Last year, the library board appropriated $875,000 for the new building, which sits just to the east of the Main Library downtown.

Friday, library interim director Peg Harmon said the building project is on schedule and on budget, and said plans are to begin moving into the building this summer.

But board members heard Monday about another $36,000 in proposed additions to the building, items which weren’t included in the building plans.

The biggest chunk of the additional expenses is for telecommunications infrastructure, including phones, cabling and a Wi-Fi system. Also being considered are $5,450 for shelving and $4,425 for a door access system.

The new building will house the library’s collection management and outreach departments.

Collection management catalogs new materials and prepares them for the library’s public collection, and also culls dated materials from the shelves. Outreach deals primarily with the library’s two bookmobiles.

A large garage — where the bookmobiles will be parked — is included in the building.

Harmon said the board received information on the additional items Monday, but didn’t take any action.

Board members originally hoped to complete both the renovation of the Main Library and the outreach building for a total of $4.5 million.

Harmon said the board budgeted $866,000 for the outreach building, with $30,000 of the budget reserved for contingencies. She said about $20,000 of the contingency budget has been spent thus far.

The library board is paying for both projects from the property tax-funded Library Improvement Reserve Fund, which held close to $5 million before the start of the renovation project.

The library board has been able to pay for both projects without a property tax increase.

• Scott Smith is a Kokomo Tribune staff writer. He may be reached at 765-454-8569 or via email at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com.