Feb. 11, 2014 By Christian Murray
The development of the highly-anticipated Hunters Point Community Library continues to face delays as builders remain unwilling to erect it for the $28 million on offer.
“No one should give you a date as to when we can do a groundbreaking,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who spoke at the Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks meeting at PS/IS 78Q last week. He said the library has yet to find a builder who is willing to construct it for the $28 million on offer—and said that additional city funds might be needed in order to entice a developer to erect it.
The project was put out for bid last year. However, the city received quotes from builders to do the job that were 40% more the $28 million that was funded.
Since then, the library and the city have gone back and revised the design—which they believe reduces the cost of the construction job by $5 million via a process known as value engineering.
“We worked out what wasn’t essential and left those pieces out,” Van Bramer said. However, “it is still essentially the same design.”
The design has always been an elaborate one. It features a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city skyline, a garden, a gallery, a conference room, a computer center and youth and teen spaces. The 21,500 square-foot facility, which will be built at Center Blvd and 48th Ave (next to Gantry Plaza State Park) , will be largely a glass and cement structure.
The project is back out for bid and the latest round of quotes are expected to come in within the next couple of months. If a builder can do the job for $28 million (via the revised plan) then Van Bramer expects a groundbreaking by the end of the year.
However, if the city is unable to find a builder that can do it for the price, then Van Bramer and other elected officials will have to find additional funding—which will cause further delays.
At this point, Van Bramer said, “It is out of my control and is in the hands of architects and contractors.”
However, Van Bramer assured residents that the library will be built—he just doesn’t know when.
“I had hoped it would have been completed during my first term, now I am hoping it will be done by the end of my second .”