Long-overdue new library goes out to bid one more time 

Council rejects bids as too expensive; residents patient despite yearlong delays

REDWOOD CITY — Redwood Shores residents will have to wait even longer for their new library after the City Council rejected all the bids it received from companies vying to develop the $14 million waterfront project.

Construction of the library, initially planned for spring of 2006, has been beset by delays. The City Council voted Monday to reject construction bids this week because they were all significantly higher than engineers’ estimates and many companies were the only bidders in their category, according to a report from city engineer Brian Lee.

Redwood City is repackaging the project and reopening bids in November, when construction crews aren’t so busy with summer work and traditionally bid more frequently — and for less money, according to Community Development Director Peter Ingram.

"Because construction costs are so high and we want to build the library as promised, it’s delaying the project but it’s going to be well worth the wait," library director Dave Genesy said.

The Redwood Shores Library, which will be located on the corner of Marine and Bridge parkways, will include a new collection of books, CDs and DVDs, lounges, special areas for families and teens, an interpretive center and a waterfront cafe. Community rooms in the new facility will double as after-hours homework centers or classrooms. It will also offer the same bookstore feel as the Main Library and Schaberg Library.

Funding for the project comes from a state library bond and Redwood City coffers.

Construction of the library was delayed last year when state officials took longer than anticipated to approve the design, according to Genesy. Once it begins, construction is expected to take about 18 months.

Many Redwood Shores residents are taking the belated timeline in stride, even though the library — like a long-anticipated new elementary school in the community — is seen as a much-needed resource.

"People are being pretty patient," said Rory Faber, a Redwood Shores resident and member of the Redwood City Library Foundation. "We want to provide the kind of library facility the community deserves, and if that means going to bid again, that’s what we need to do."

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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