OGDEN — The contractor upgrading the Weber County Library System main branch here needs more time and has been given until Feb. 6 to do the work.
Even so, library officials still hope to re-open the library — closed since Nov. 11, 2016 — in March, as earlier envisioned.
“It’s a big job to put a main library together,” said Lynnda Wangsgard, executive director of the library system.
She attributed the delay to difficulties by the contractor, Wadman Corp., in finding subcontractors late last year due to the holiday season. Officials had earlier expected substantial completion in mid-December and then moved the date to Jan. 8 before pushing the deadline once again to Feb. 6 at a library board meeting on Tuesday.
Following substantial completion, library employees will move in computers, furniture and library materials and connect all the electronics, doing the work more quickly than earlier anticipated. The soft opening is tentatively scheduled for sometime in March, Wangsgard said, with a more formal grand opening in April, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the library’s opening in 1968, though she left open the possibility of the dates having to be tweaked.
Ahead of the launch of construction in 2016, officials had set a target date for substantial completion of September 2017, with a library rededication on Jan. 1 this year. The $17 million project is part of a broader $45 million upgrade of the county library system, which also entailed construction of the new library in Roy.
Rather than rush the contractor to meet the earlier deadline, Wangsgard said library officials opted to grant the extension to assure quality work. The firm won’t face a penalty, but could if it doesn’t meet the new Feb. 6 deadline. The upgrade calls for new lighting, opening of more public space by moving administrative functions and mechanical operations and more.
The ongoing $6 million upgrade of the North Branch library in North Ogden is on schedule and that facility is still expected to reopen next May.