Webster Groves library expansion delayed

An artist’s rendering shows how the library addition was supposed in March 2012. (Photo from wgpl.org)

Mark Schierbecker
Staff Writer

Work on the expansion to the Webster Groves Public Library, located on E. Lockwood Avenue, has come to a standstill after Frederich Construction Inc. defaulted on its contract. Work stopped on Sept. 20, when Frederich terminated work because it alleged that the library’s design team was not being communicative.

The library determined on Oct. 16, that Frederich’s termination of work was not allowed under the contract and therefore Frederich defaulted on its contractual obligation for not doing its part. The project, which began in October of last year, will need to be deferred until the library’s bond company selects new contractors in a rebid initiated this December. The expenses are fully covered by the worker’s insurer and will not be incurred by the library.

The original March 2012 completion date will need to be pushed back for the new company to put up walls and work on the interior. That means that the library will need to extend its lease at its temporary S. Brentwood Boulevard location.

“We already talked to the landlord… and they’re very sympathetic. They are old Webster Groves family and… are ready to let us extend the lease,” said Webster Groves Public Library director Tom Cooper.

The addition to the library will double the facility size with a large children’s room, modular computer facilities, auditorium and additional space for books. The library, built in 1949, will get an extensive technology upgrade with more computer stations and more power connections for laptops.

The building will also be built with upgradability in mind with cables for adding more computer terminals. Although “[T]he trend in libraries now is not to add so many dedicated terminals as to be Wi-Fi through the building,” said Cooper.

The construction for the building has so far cost $3.1 million and is paid for by a 9 cent property rate increase.

Leave a Reply