Joyce Marie Taylor
Top of the Mountain Industries in Live Oak was awarded the bid to construct the new library in White Springs at the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, April 3. The official groundbreaking ceremony is set for May 1.
Top of the Mountain came in as low bidder on the project with $294,800. There were four bidders on the project. The other three were Plumb Level Construction of Jasper who bid $329,000, Shine & Co. in High Springs with a bid of $339,000, and Little & Williams, Inc. in Lake City who bid $339,200.
Engineer Greg Bailey stated that after reviewing Top of the Mountain’s bid, everything was in accordance with the bid specifications. He then recommended to the board that they accept the bid for the project.
The board voted unanimously to waive the county permit fee and ask the town of White Springs to waive their fee, and also to award the project to Top of the Mountain.
A representative from Top said he expects to have the project completed within 140-160 days, barring any inclement weather.
Bailey showed the board two different renderings of the library. The first had sand-colored siding with black shutters and a light grey metal roof. The second rendering had dark tan-colored siding, black shutters and a red metal roof.
Suwannee River Regional Library Director Betty Lawrence and White Springs Town Council member Dennis Price were in the audience. After some discussion by the board and after asking Lawrence and Price for their opinions, everyone was in agreement that the first color options were the best.
Price thanked the board for all they have done to get the project moving forward.
“It’s been a long road,” said Price.
The library project for the town of White Springs received a generous donation from PCS Phosphate in the amount of $300,000 on Sept. 20, 2011. The old library at 12797 Roberts St., adjacent to Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, has outgrown itself over the years and the building is in need of a major makeover, according to librarian Tracy Woodard.
There is an old barn that is sitting on the proposed library site just down the street, but not necessarily in the way of the new building, that the county gave to the town of White Springs. Commissioner Randy Ogburn said he had asked the town to remove it close to a year ago if they wanted to preserve it. The contractor said he was concerned about safety should local folks be at the site dismantling the barn while construction was going on.
“We’re trying to organize a work party to help dismantle it and save the wood so we can use it for other projects, just to recycle it,” said Price. “I would say if it’s not down, if we don’t act on it, then whatever happens, happens. It’s just the way it has to be.”
The official groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the site on US 41 in White Springs at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.