Work is reaching a culmination for the building committee that has been tasked with changing plans for the project for a new Southington Public Library. It has been a challenge, to put it mildly, and while there are compromises sure to be disappointing the committee deserves praise for the way it has handled a most difficult challenge.
Summing up the difficulty involves a reality people are familiar with these days. Costs have increased since town voters approved the project in a November 2021 referendum, and what was thought at the time to be enough money turns out not to be. Thus the committee has faced the challenge of trimming costs to fit the $17 million approved. The committee is expected to finalize its plans in time for a Jan. 25 meeting. Then it will coordinate with other involved committees as the project moves forward.
“We’re in really good shape,” observed Town Manager Mark Sciota, as reported by the Record-Journal. “I feel really comfortable using these numbers moving forward, because I want to get something because I know that a lot of people call up and say ‘where are you?’ This is where we are.”
One encouraging aspect, reported by the R-J’s Christian Metzger, is the way the community has responded when it comes to donations. Sciota put the figure at $400,000, and with the potential of raising an additional $300,000 it puts efforts, as the R-J story put it, “within striking distance of its goals.”
There are cuts that will save money that likely won’t be missed to any great degree. Those include a savings of $70,000 by not installing a snow-melting system for the pavement. Other potential cost savings involve using furniture from the library that is there now.
As these details suggest, this has not been an easy task. Disappointment is bound to follow when a project has to be trimmed. The committee has done its job, with diligence, and has earned the town’s respect for its work. A public library Southington can be proud of remains on the horizon.