Woodstock library board set to approve architect’s contract

Architect Stephen Tilly’s design (photo by Dion Ogust)

Woodstock Library Trustees plan to vote at their next meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, on a $584,000 contract with Dobbs Ferry architect Stephen Tilly for designs on a new 12,000-square-foot library building amid lingering concerns by some that the board hasn’t been transparent enough and hasn’t given enough consideration to a renovation.

Negotiations with Tilly began in January and the Library’s Building Committee discussed a draft contract last month.

A new development since then gives the board the ability to suspend Tilly’s services for any reason with seven days notice. This clause added to the contract will give library officials the ability to raise money before going ahead with the next phase of the project.

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The board says it has the necessary funding to pay Tilly for the schematic design phase, which will cost 12 percent of Tilly’s contract, or $70,080. An additional $10,000 is required to begin services, with those amounts included in the $584,000 total architect’s fee.

“We will not authorize going ahead with design development until we have the money,” said Jill Fisher, Building Committee chair. 

Design development is very specific and is the next big phase before construction documents are drafted. That phase will cost 32.2 percent of the contract, or $188,048. The construction documents phase is 34.8 percent or $203,232, followed by the bidding phase at 3.6 percent or $21,024 and the construction phase at 17.4 percent or $101,616.

At last month’s board meeting, trustees voted to move $100,000 in surplus funds into the capital fund to begin paying expenses for the project.

The surplus funds were accrued from savings in the health insurance premiums in 2017, unpaid salary when Kerr was on medical leave and the Tech job which was not filled until recently. Kerr reminded people the budget is set in July with nearly half the year remaining, so leftover funds from the prior year such as those caused by unplanned staff departures cannot be predicted.

Fisher said the goal is to have the schematic design phase completed by August 1. This phase, which includes more specific architectural drawings, is seen as a key step because it will give potential donors a better picture of the project’s scope and will provide trustees with a more accurate cost estimate.

The budget for the new building itself is $4.4 million and is “move-in ready,” though it does not include furnishings or equipment, which Fisher said could cost around $800,000.

Tilly’s services will include landscape design but the landscaping itself is not part of the $4.4 million building budget. Another items not included in the budget are solar panels, shown on Tilly’s model. Fisher said the aim is to obtain grants for furnishings, equipment and solar panels.

Still to be selected are a construction manager agent, who would oversee the overall progress and a clerk of the works, who would supervise the day-to-day construction.

Also negotiated were 13 meetings with various stakeholders including library staff, building committee, library board, town Planning Board, Commission for Civic Design, Zoning Board of Appeals, donors and others. Additional meetings would cost $900 per architect’s staff member per meeting.

The draft contract can be viewed at woodstock.org/planning.

Board members expect to vote on the contract at the April 18 meeting at 7 p.m. in the library. All regular meetings are open to the public.

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