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Library closed in for winter weather

By Gabriel Blodgett | Jan 14, 2020
Photo by: Gabriel Blodgett Construction of the Rockport Library continues to progress on schedule although concerns over funding for landscaping remain.

Rockport — Construction of the Rockport Library continues to progress on schedule, but funding for landscaping remains uncertain.

At the Jan. 13 meeting, the Select Board approved the Library Building Committee’s recommendations for interior design of the library, including paint color, flooring, carpeting and other interior finish elements. The Committee previously met with interior designer Nadine Cole of Kittery, who according to Select Board Vice Chair Denise Kennedy-Munger, ensured the committee that the materials were durable enough to withstand extended public use and were within the expense allowance.

Following the approval, several Select Board members stressed that the library construction is on budget and schedule.

“I’m over there multiple times a week, highly involved in the process. We are on schedule,” said Select Board member Doug Cole.

Town Manager William Post said that there are weekly construction meetings between the architect, contractor, owner’s representative and himself and in some areas, construction is ahead of schedule.

He said there are times construction has been taking place on Saturdays to make up for missed days during the week but with the enclosure of the building, those instances should become less frequent.

The building is now almost entirely enclosed and construction of interior walls is scheduled to begin in the next two weeks, according to Cole.

According to the most recent construction report from Rick Bates, the former town manager who is serving as a consultant for the project, the slab floor of the lower level has been poured over a vapor barrier, reinforcing wire, electrical and data connections, and radiant heating tubes that will heat the floor.

As Select Board liaison to the Parks and Beautification Committee, Cole said the landscaping plans are almost finished and they expect to have a bid package from the landscape architect ready to send out in the next four to six weeks.

At this time, however, there is no money available to complete the landscaping.

“We said all along we would try to raise the money for landscaping when the time arrived and we’re getting dangerously close to that now,” said Cole.

“The [Rockport Library] Foundation is pretty well tapped out and I don’t know if we’re going to have any landscaping fairy who’s going to arrive.”

Cole said the contractor does have an obligation to make sure that upon completion of the building, open areas are seeded with grass and pathways filled with compacted gravel before vacating the site to ensure a certain level of finish.

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