New Pinehurst library moves to the next chapter

The size, cost, and bidding process for the new Givens Memorial Library and Tufts Archives were hot topics at the April 9 meeting of the Pinehurst Village Council.

With a 3-2 vote, the Village Council approved one of two designs presented by Assistant Village Manager Doug Willardson, which Oakley Collier Architects drafted. The option approved by the Village Council had a footprint of 9,250 square feet and an estimated cost of $5,976,750. The second design illustrated an 8,400-square-foot facility with an approximate cost of $5,492,250.

Oakley Collier Architects provided the cost estimates for the new library project, which has not yet been submitted for public bid.

The estimates approved for the construction of the new library do not include the Tuft Archives renovation, estimated to cost $1,516,140. The Tufts Family Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, will focus on fundraising efforts to support that renovation. The Village of Pinehurst will pay for the funds to construct the new Given Memorial Library, which will be located on Magnolia Road. The cost for additional parking was projected to be between $5-6 million. There was no discussion or decision about funding the additional parking.

The schematics displayed during the meeting showed a similar design between the two options — the 9,250-square-foot facility and the 8,400-square-foot facility. Both included a living room space, a circulation desk, workrooms, meeting rooms, and book stacks for both options under consideration. The main differences are 850 square feet and an additional $484,500 for the larger facility.

The current library has 17,000 volumes. The 9,250-square-foot facility would provide the capacity for 36,000 volumes, and the 8,400-square-foot facility would hold 25,000 volumes.

When comparing the alternatives, council member Jack Farrell mentioned his conversations with the National Park Service concerning the current library location and the possibility of expanding it on the Village Green. Because of the Village Green’s status as a historical landmark, the National Park Service would have input if the current library were to be expanded.

While listed, the council did not recommend the Village Green option for several reasons, including it being the most expensive, a lack of parking, and the historical factors that must be considered for the final design.

Pinehurst Mayor Patrick Pizzella expressed his concerns over the cost involved. “We went from 3.7 million in May 2021, which was in our SOP Plan, to 4.6 million in April 2023, and that was for the library and the archives. Since that time, we’ve been steadily going north, which is what made the issue of the size of the building so important because that becomes the footprint of what we need to maintain and operate in the future.”

Council member Jeff Morgan shared his concern about building a facility that was not adequate when complete; “I’ve seen this over and over, having had a lifetime of working with the government of seeing something that is finally built, and as soon as it is built, it is too small, and I’m concerned we’re falling into that trap.”

Toward the close of the meeting, Pizzella, who repeatedly called for a not-to-exceed amount when the project goes out to bid, voted against the measure, stating, “From a budgetary standpoint, we lost control as a village. I accept some responsibility for this. I think the reason we did is that we never provided the architect with a dollar value of an estimate.”

Morgan disagreed with Pizzella’s sentiment: “You put in a ceiling, and that helps the bidders versus us overall.”

Morgan, Farrell, and Barb Ficklin voted to approve the 9,250-square-foot option for the new library without a not to exceed cost. John Taylor and Pizzella voted against the project.

The next step is for Willardson to draw up a contract for Oakley Collier Architects based on the library design of 9,250 square feet and present it to the Village Council for approval. Once the design is approved, the project will go out for public bidding.

Feature photo: Schematic of the new library in Pinehurst. Image provided by the Village of Pinehurst.

Sandhills_Sentinel~ Written by Sandhills Sentinel reporter Maggie Sergio. A resident of Moore County since 2016, Maggie was one of the first reporters for Sandhills Sentinel. She started covering local stories for Sandhills Sentinel in 2018 and has recently rejoined the reporting staff. Maggie previously contributed to the Huffington Post, covering social and environmental justice issues. Maggie is an accomplished grant writer, having secured funding for several nonprofit organizations. 

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