Cape library project two months behind

Thursday, June 12, 2008
Construction continued Wednesday at the Cape Girardeau Public Library. A wet spring has cost 34 working days on the project. AARON EISENHAUER aeisenhauer@

Continued heavy rain since the beginning of the year has caused construction on the Cape Girardeau Public Library expansion to be delayed almost two months, according to Mark Vogel, the project manager for the library expansion. In April, construction was projected to be about one month behind.

Vogel said construction crews have lost 34 working days because of rain.

"We've had an exceptionally wet spring," he said.

The library will roughly double in size from 19,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet, and crews have had trouble laying the earthwork and constructing an exterior foundation wall for the building extension.

The level of the ground at the site of the extension had to be raised a few feet to be at the same level as the existing building. Vogel said crews used roughly 4,000 to 5,000 cubic yards of dirt to raise the level of the site. The heavy rain this spring has made it difficult for that dirt to settle and dry, a process that takes about two weeks.

According to Vogel, the foundations are now 95 percent complete, and he hopes to start work on the steel structure of the library building extension in early July.

Even though exterior construction has been delayed, renovation of the interior of the existing library building has proceeded on schedule.

"It just doesn't look a lot different" from the outside, Vogel said. From the inside "a person can pretty much now tell what room is what."

Vogel said much of the interior duct work, pipe work and spatial layout has been completed, but drywall still has to be placed.

Construction of the new steel entrance to the library is also underway, according to Vogel, and it is visible from the road.

The expansion project is funded by a special library tax passed in February 2007. Bonds were sold in July, and bids were opened in September. Library and city officials broke ground in November 2007.

Betty Martin, director of the Cape Girardeau Public Library, anticipates the new library building will open in March 2009. The initial contract stated construction would be completed in December 2008.

335-6611, extension 197

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