The City Commission recently approved a contract with Vercetti Enterprises, LLC for construction of the first-floor expansion of the Lighthouse Point Library, which will serve as a children’s wing.

The project was put out to bid last August, and proposals were received from five contractors. Vercetti Enterprises, based in Miami, was the lowest qualified bidder.

In November, the City Commission authorized an expenditure of funds up to $1,217,158, which includes a 10% contingency. The project is being funded from the 2018 voter-approved municipal bond.

Construction of the first-floor addition will begin once the necessary permits are obtained from the City and County, according to city officials.

The children’s wing will extend into a portion of the parking lot to the north of the library. It will be a one-story, 1,800-square-foot stand-alone building that connects back to the existing library building with an enclosed corridor.

The first-floor addition replaces the City’s original plan to build out the library’s second floor using bond proceeds. The initial budgeted project cost for the second-floor build-out was approximately $600,000, but it was later determined the cost would be much higher due to unanticipated challenges, and constructing an addition to the library would be more cost effective.

When Commission Vice President Sandy Johnson asked where the extra money for the library expansion project was coming from, the city’s finance director Cori Olympio explained that there was approximately $2.4 million remaining in bond funds, which is after all open purchase orders for the other bond projects are taken out. With the cost of the library expansion deducted, there is now $1.2 million remaining in bond funds.

Vercetti Enterprises will have 12 months to complete the first-floor library project, per the contract. If that time limit is not met, and after a 30-day grace period, the contractor will owe the City $500 per day until a certificate of occupancy is issued. Additionally, the contractor will earn an early completion bonus of $500 per day for each day under 12 months that the building receives a certificate of occupancy.

There are currently no plans to shut down the library during construction. However, the north parking lot will be out of use for a while. Alternative parking will be across the street in the old fire station’s parking lot.

The first-floor expansion project received site plan approval from the Planning and Zoning Board and the Community Appearance Board last year.

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