PBC Awards North Side Branch Library Contract

Terry Levin, (312) 744-9277

The lowest of five bidders was awarded the contract to build a new branch library at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Bryn Mawr Avenue Tuesday by the Public Building Commission.

Winning the construction contract for the new Budlong Woods Branch Library, 5630 N. Lincoln Ave., was Fredrickson/KRJ, with a bid of $3,996,000, according to PBC executive director Eileen Carey.

The bid by Fredrickson/KRJ, of 233 S. Wacker Dr., committed to one-third of the contract value going to minority-owned subcontractors and to having minority workers perform half of the laborers work and 25% each of the apprentice and journeyman work on the construction site, Carey noted.

Construction of the new 14,000-square-feet library-which is going on the northwest corner on the site of the old Acres Motel-is expected to start early next year and be completed in the spring of 2003. The single-story building will be very similar to the Archer Heights library branch opened last year on the Southwest Side.

Funding for the new Budlong Woods branch is coming from Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Neighborhoods Alive 21 program, a four-year $800 million initiative to provide new libraries, police and fire stations and other public facilities citywide.

Just last Saturday, the new Austin-Irving library branch opened at 6100 W. Irving Park Rd., the 41st new or substantially renovated library completed under Daley’s administration in what has become the largest library building program in the U.S.

However, Daley is not building so many libraries to attract national attention, but rather “to strengthen our neighborhoods and to give our residents-young and old-the fullest opportunity for lifelong learning,” he explained.

On another branch library matter, the PBC board Tuesday approved a new proposed location for a larger Logan Square branch library after the originally selected site was sought by the federal government for a Social Security building.

The proposed new library site is at 3020-46 W. Fullerton Ave., on the north side of the street between Sacramento and Albany avenues. This is about two blocks east of the originally proposed site at the northwest corner of Fullerton and Sawyer.

This new site for the Logan Square branch must be approved by the Chicago City Council and public comment is invited between now and the Council’s vote, Carey noted.

And in a third library-related action, the PBC formally accepted a request from Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey to build the new Oriole Park branch library on the Northwest Side at 7450 W. Balmoral Ave.