By Scott Sullivan
Nearly five months after an April 29 groundbreaking ceremony for the new $4.35-million, 9,000-square-foot Saugatuck-Douglas District Library, passers- by can see major progress on the 137 Center St., Douglas, site.
Throughout spring and early summer, contractors installed underground utilities, footings, foundation walls and the concrete slab.
After this first flurry, construction slowed noticeably, said SDDL head librarian Ingrid Boyer, largely due to delay in the fabrication and delivery of the large laminated wood beams.
Their manufacturer is behind schedule with the construction industry as a whole experiencing labor shortages, she continued. The supply of materials and available workers cannot keep up with demand.
Activity has resumed in the last two weeks, with all the exterior walls and most of the interior ones now erected. Because the plan calls for structural insulated panels, said Boyer, work continues rapidly.
The large wood beams will be delivered in mid-October, she went on. “With luck and good weather, the roof will be completed as quickly as the walls.”
The new library is going in just west of and across Center Street from its current home in an 1870s-built former church.
District residents OK’d a 25-year, .4271-mill tax increase Aug. 7, 2018, 1,377 yes votes to 768 no, to build a new handicap-accessible, one-story building needed, said library board members, to offer 21st-century amenities.
Providing the fall and early winter bring no surprises, the new library should be completed by the end of February 2020, Boyer said.