Broadview Library Board Delays Vote On New Contractor, Renovation Work Still Paused

Sunday, June 2, 2019 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews

Featured image: Renovation work on the Broadview Public Library is still in limbo since the general contractor abruptly pulled out. | File

The renovation of the Broadview Public Library, 2226 S. 16th Ave. in Broadview is still in limbo after the general contractor working on the renovation, Poulos Construction Company, abruptly stopped working due to default.

The library’s Board of Trustees was poised to vote on a takeover agreement with Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, the entity that provides the $5.4 million bond put in place to protect the library district in case a contractor defaults. The May 23 meeting that the board scheduled for the vote was rescheduled for May 30. That meeting, however, was cancelled and another date has yet to be announced.

Earlier this year, the library gave Poulos a $5.4 million contract to renovate the existing 17,000-square-foot facility and build a new 3,000-square-foot addition. The company came in as the lowest bidder.

But the project hit an unexpected snag when the company defaulted and could no longer perform the work. During its May 8 meeting, the library board announced that it planned to sign a takeover agreement with Travelers within roughly a week so that construction could resume in June. That agreement would have given Travelers the authority to effectively replace Poulos as general contractor and pick up where the company left off.

In a May 19 statement posted online, library officials stated that the library would be closed on May 29 and May 30 for renovation work. The library convened a special meeting on May 16 to approve the agreement. The approval vote was then moved to the regularly scheduled May 23 meeting, before the vote was held off until a special meeting on May 30.

Attempts to reach Keisha Hester, the library’s executive director, and Katrina Arnold, the library’s board president, were unsuccessful. In an automated email response, Hester indicated that she will be out of office until July 1.

When reached for comment, Robert Lafferty, the library’s assistant director, declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the delays and cancellation of the meeting.

“It was decided not to hold the special board meeting [Thursday] evening,” he said. “It was the decision made. We hope to have a special meeting within the next week or so.”

Lafferty said he was “not comfortable” elaborating on who the new general contractor would be, but he indicated that one has been selected. He referred more inquiries to Arnold, who did not respond to emails seeking comment before deadline. VFP

Contact: thevillagefreepress@gmail.com | Facebook: @maywoodnews

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