Soldotna library basement to get face lift

The Joyce K. Carver Memorial Library in Soldotna will soon have a remodeled basement to match the main floor.

Members of the Soldotna City Council voted unanimously at their Jan. 25 meeting to approve an ordinance and a resolution that will allow a remodel of the library’s basement to go forward. The remodel is “the last chapter of our library expansion project,” said City Manager Mark Dixson at the meeting.

The library has seen several updates over the years, with the most recent remodel and expansion completed in 2013. That project renovated 7,438 existing square feet and added 9,843 square feet to the building, as previously reported by the Clarion. Now, the library’s basement is getting some attention with funds left over from appropriations from the city and grants originally intended for the main expansion project, Dixson said.

City staff decided in conjunction with the librarian to move on to renovations to the building’s basement, Dixson said. The Soldotna Library Friends organization holds its book sales in the basement, so its members came up with a plan for the space along with the librarian, he said.

The basement remodel will “include adding walls and creating storage spaces, a workspace and an area to be utilized by the Soldotna Library Friends,” according to the ordinance accepting a donation from the Soldotna Library Friends. It will also include sprinkler work, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and ceiling and light work, according to a memo from City Engineer Kyle Kornelis.

The ordinance enacted by the council allows the city to accept a donation of $7,000 from the Soldotna Library Friends toward the project to cover some extra costs that came up.

“There were certain heat exchange and air exchanges and other mechanical issues that arose,” Dixson said. “And when we got the bids in, the bids came in slightly above what we had left over in grants and appropriations.”

Dixson said other options would have been to cancel the request for proposals and cut items out of the project, or to ask the city council for more money. The Soldotna Library Friends board members met and voted in early January to donate the funds when the Public Works Department approached them, according to the memo from Kornelis.

The funds were added into the library expansion capital project fund. The cost of the renovation will be $202,700, according to the resolution allowing the city to contract with Triple V Contracting LLC, based in Big Lake. Triple V came in as the low bidder out of eight total companies, according to a memo from Project Manager Lee Frey to Dixson.

All the remodel work should be done within a month of the contractors getting notice to proceed, Kornelis wrote in his memo.

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