Excitement has transformed into frustration for library board members, library staff and residents about new additions to the Brazil Public Library.
Library Director Jill Scarbrough understands how the residents feel.
"It is extremely frustrating. We have all these great new books, and no one to read them," Scarbrough said.
Library Board President Susan Crick is feeling more than frustrated. Everywhere she goes, people ask questions and let off steam about the delays.
"All the board members get asked, 'When is the library opening? What's the big hold up?'" Crick said. "It's hard to look them in the eye and tell them that we are still waiting for the revised repairs to be made."
According to Crick the biggest issue is the HVAC work that is still not completed, and the start of this issue may go back to before the project was even started.
"When the architect designed the building," Crick said, "it was classified as one thing, but because of the square footage and occupancy rate, the state gave it a different classification. The architect didn't revise his plans. Contractors bidding on the project were actually bidding on the wrong plans. The project was actually larger in scope than what the winning bidder signed on for."
When the project was near completion, it was inspected by Stephen D. Mackenzie, who found several code violations. Pyramid Architects, the designer, chose to have a second opinion inspection. That inspection found the same issues, and a few more.
"Pyramid said that they would get the revisions and repairs made," Crick said. "We thought that would be done in a timely manner, however, Pyramid wouldn't return calls, and contractors weren't contacted to finish the work until recently."
According to Crick, most of the big issues stem from HVAC problems.
"There were supply and return lines in the original contracted blueprints," Crick said. "Pyramid checked them off as completed. When the inspection was done, however, it became clear that the company had never installed them."
In addition to the supply lines, Crick said that there had been several other issues.
"We have five inside air units with belts," Crick said. "Each one of those units has had at least three belts replaced on them. These are commercial units."
Crick said one of the units froze on Memorial Day and flooded the server room, just missing the server unit, and flooded into the main room.
Crick explained that the unit in the boiler room has no air return.
"It just sweats all day, and we have to mop up water several times a day," Crick said.
The board has also discovered that the plans were drawn up on an open plenum concept that is not acceptable by state code, and that many of the doors in the building are not up to code either.
Crick said she has contacted Pyramid, and requested that they get the HVAC contractors, Commercial Air, Inc., to finish the job.
"We haven't seen any sign of them, and they won't answer my calls," Crick said. "It's really ridiculous, there are places in the library that are cold enough to hang meat, and some are so warm and humid that we're afraid to leave any materials in there.
"We've just lost so much because of these delays," Crick said. "The carpenters from Commercial Interiors have come in and completed all that they can without the ductwork being done, and we haven't had any problems with them. We are very satisfied with their work and they've gone further than what was required."
According to Crick, the library board cannot hire another HVAC contractor to finish the job because it would invalidate the warranty on what Commercial Air, Inc., has done.
"We just want Commercial Air, Inc., to complete the job and be able to open our doors again," Crick said.
She also said the children in this area need the resources for their education, and the staff would like to come back to work.
Many members of the staff have taken voluntary lay-offs because the library has no income coming in. The library will receive approximately $231,170 into the general fund, and $72,759 into the debt service fund from the 2006 taxes payable in 2007. However, it has not arrived and the library must still pay its expenses even if it does not .open.
Currently, the library will be closed indefinitely while the board attempts to get the issues resolved.
Phone calls to Pyramid Architects and Commercial Air, Inc. were not returned as of press time.