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Nov 16, 2011 9:43 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

John Jermain, Bulova Projects To Get Underway

Nov 21, 2011 12:28 PM

After nearly a decade of planning and two years of review by myriad regulatory agencies, the $10 million renovation and expansion of the John Jermain Library in Sag Harbor begins in earnest this week.

As library officials await the issuance of building permits from Sag Harbor Village, workers began clearing the property to make way for the expansion work, including removing commemorative trees, donated by library supporters, to be stored elsewhere until the work is completed.

Once the permits are finalized, work crews will begin erecting scaffolding around the existing building. The property will also be completely fenced in, necessitating the closure of portions of Jefferson Street and likely resulting in some intermittent traffic disruptions on the section of Main Street near the library.

“We’ll be moving forward with all of this right away,” Library Director Catherine Creedon said. “It’s very satisfying to see this all getting going.”

The first step of the project will be the preservation of the century-old library building, which has suffered from faulty heating systems, leaking windows, and a roof that has left staff protecting books and computers with plastic garbage bags in recent years. Crews will remove the historic stained glass laylight from the building’s signature reading room rotunda, replace roofing and refurbish the building’s brick facade.

The renovation and modernization work will include new heating and cooling systems, modern computer facilities, community meeting rooms, reading rooms, and climate controlled archival storage facilities for the library’s extensive historic documents collection.

The expansion will add some 7,000 square feet of modern steel-and-glass structure at the rear of the existing building, about 4,000 square feet of which will add internal programming space. The rest includes an elevator shaft and second staircase to the upper floors of the building.

The construction is being led by Pat Trunzo Building Contractor Inc., which took over recently from Sandpebble Builders, the company that had led the planning of the project since it was first resurrected in 2009. Ms. Creedon said the split with Sandpebble was mutually agreed upon by the company and the library board and was amicable. “They did wonderful work on the pre-construction for the library,” Ms. Creedon said.

The library will schedule a ceremonial groundbreaking for the expansion work in the near future, she added.

In 2009, Sag Harbor School District voters approved a $10 million bond to pay for the renovation and expansion of the library. Voters had previously rejected an $8 million proposal that would have had the library abandon its historic home and construct two new buildings at a site on the outskirts of the village.

Not far away, the massive renovation project at the former Bulova Watchcase Factory building is also set to get under way soon. That project will gut the giant abandoned industrial building on Division Street and transform it into 65 luxury condominium and townhouse units. The $60 million project is expected to take some two years to complete.

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According to the 9/28/11 article (link above), the estimated cost of the Bulova project was $100 million, yet above the figure of $60 million is used for the cost. This represents a 40% reduction in costs.

Has the scope of work been reduced by 40% with revised plans and specifications?

Have the developers arranged additional financing which has yet to be made public?

Has Sag Harbor Village been assured that the project will not run out of financing before it is finished? ...more
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Nov 21, 11 12:47 PM
PS -- An earlier article (8/22/08? -- click on "More" at the top left for link) indicated that this project would carry a Platinum LEED rating. Is this still the case? Or have they dropped this high standard for a lower rating, or none at all?
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Nov 22, 11 2:19 PM