The Golden Triangle Library is now likely going to be a late Christmas present, one to be opened in early 2019.
Construction delays have pushed back the projected completion date for the library at 4264 Golden Triangle Blvd, near the intersection with North Beach Street. The facility will offer a wide variety of materials and services, including a municipal court satellite office.
The contractor, Denco CS Corporation, was originally scheduled to complete the library by June 10. However, several delays, which the city said are almost all attributable to the contractor, have forced the delay. The project is 40 percent complete, but with over 90 percent of the contract time having expired, the contractor gave a new completion projection of Jan. 1, 2019.
Terminating the contractor is indeed an option, but City Property Manager Steve Cooke said that determination has not been made yet.
“We have worked directly with their staff to develop a new schedule tied to specific performance guidelines. If they are able to continue to meet these milestones, we will keep them going,” he said. “If, however, they miss these steps, we will use remedies identified in our contract to take actions that can include termination. At this point, termination has become more of a real option if progress does not continue to happen.”
Cooke said if the city were to terminate their deal with Denco CS, the bonding company would take over the project after they do an investigation into the reasons for terminating. This would take a few months at least, and could take up to six months to complete. Once the bonding company is finished with their determinations, they would hire a contractor to finish the project, which could add a couple of months.
Cooke said any delays would not cost taxpayers. It was approved as part of the 2014 bond program, and land was acquired in September 2015.
Inspections by city staff revealed work-quality issues on multiple occasions, requiring the contractor to redo work and call for additional inspections before passing and moving on to the next phase. City officials say the contractor has gone through several site superintendents to further delay progress.
Cooke said the city typically carries $60 million to $80 million worth of construction contracts annually and rarely see delays of this type. He said the city currently has nine projects going of a similar size and none are having issues of this nature.
“We normally only pursue liquidated damages on approximately 10 percent of our projects for delays, and most of these have some kind of reason for something causing the delay,” he said.
Cooke said the city had one termination in 2017 due to a prime contractor not paying his sub-contractors. They terminated, and the bonding company took over without additional costs to the city. The schedule suffered in this event due to the bonding company doing its due diligence investigation into the situation. However, after the delay of several months, the project got back on track and was completed without costing the city more money.
Whenever the library is completed, Cooke said it will be a fine addition to the city.
“Libraries are always wonderful additions to the community, so we see this as a critical part of providing service to our citizens,” he said. “It will definitely be worth the wait. I hate that we have to wait on it, but it will be a great facility for many decades to come.
“All of our efforts up to this point have been aimed at getting a quality project completed and that will continue. As owners, we support the contractor’s schedule as much as we can by making quick decisions and solving construction issues as fast as we can in order to preserve their schedule. In this unfortunate situation, we will continue to offer guidance and support on the project but this is ultimately up to the contractor to complete his work.”
Cooke said the contractor has met the new milestones so far, indicating they have turned a corner on completing the project. He said the city will remain diligent in monitoring the project, and one way or another plans to see it to fruition.
“We will see this project through to its completion as a quality product. It is always our goal to meet our schedule and in almost every case we hit that mark with our contracting partners,” he said. “We will not make our schedule on this project but we will have a quality product in the end.”