Construction ahead!

By Judy Ross, for The Friends of the Point Roberts Library

The title isn’t a warning, but it is something of a mayday call. Here’s where we are now.

Last week, we received five bids on the new library construction project. The bids were somewhat higher than expected, but the two lowest are within our budget, with a big caveat; some tasks need to be completed and will cost money, but they are not within the contract bids. We need a new septic tank, some project management, movement of both the water meter and fire hydrant, landscaping when the job is done, carpets and maybe water-sealing the slab.

The park and recreation district has agreed to cover the costs of asbestos/hazardous waste removal and Whatcom County Library System is looking to cover air conditioning, but the other non-contract services need to be funded by The Friends of the Point Roberts Library. And – this is the mayday part – we don’t have much time, because the bids are valid only until September 23. By that date, parks and recreation must choose to accept one bid or turn them all down.

What is on our plate right now is the need for $60,000. That’s the bad news. The good news is that two local residents already have, together, offered to match the first $30,000 donated. That means the plate needs only $30,000 by September 23. We think that’s doable given the substantial support the community has offered over the past years to get this funding.

We are out talking to individuals, groups and businesses and asking for their help, but first of all we are talking to you, to the friends of the library; the people who know the kind of difference that a good library makes in a small community. We have only two choices right now: to raise the $60,000 or to give up on the project. But we don’t think this community is ready to give up.

If you can join with us and make yet another donation to the new library, please drop your check (made out to FOPRL) off at the library before September 23 or mail it to FOPRL, PO Box 970, Point Roberts, WA 98281. If you have questions, ask Rose in the library or call me in Point Roberts, 945-3180.

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