Boards discuss new library

Strand Associates and the Village of Oregon identified two potential crosswalk locations for the new library site to be located on Main Street.

While fundraising continues for the the $10 million-plus Oregon Public Library project, the village and library boards are working on a pair of major decisions.

One is how to ensure safe pedestrian crossings of Main Street, and the other is how to run the construction project itself.

The two boards, in their first joint meeting since summer, discussed both items at length Monday, Dec. 16, but voted to take no action on either until design plans are in place. That’s expected to come in June 2020.

The capital campaign, which is expected to wrap up in June, might take its fundraising efforts public in February, a little earlier than scheduled, to generate more awareness about the project, Library Board member Jennifer Nelson told both groups.

The results of that campaign will dictate the budget for the library. A fundraising expert told the Library Board earlier this year should be able to net at least the $4 million needed for the base-level library design, but library officials commissioned design options that would allow for a reduction or expansion if the campaign is more or less successful than expected.

The two boards are scheduled to meet jointly again at 5 p.m. June 15, 2020, to discuss the results of the capital campaign and ways to proceed.

Until then, staff and consultants are continuing to work on fundraising efforts, evaluating pedestrian crosswalk options and seeking the best strategy for constructing the building.

The boards discussed what the location of a crosswalk across Main Street could be and how it would be marked, and considered three possible ways to bid and run the construction of the building.

Crosswalk locations

The village and library boards reviewed a Strand Associates evaluation of the existing traffic conditions around the library site and pedestrian crossing conditions at two potential locations.

Crossing Location 1 is on the southern half of the library site on Main Street near Netherwood Road Elementary School, and the Location 2 is on the northern half of the site.

If the village chooses Crossing Location 1, a letter from the company points out that with a pedestrian activated signal, the crossing should be located far enough to the north so that a stop bar could be placed on Main Street between NKE and the crossing. If a full traffic signal is desired, it would need to be considered to control the NKE driveway similar to how the library’s would be, the letter states.

The second crossing location would have more of a limited impact on the building design, the Strand letter states.

The evaluation also detailed crosswalk options to best make pedestrians more visible to motorists.

One option included a traditional painted crosswalk with pedestrian ramps constructed adjacent to the existing sidewalk on Main Street and two 6-inch white painted crosswalk lines. That, Strand wrote, would be the minimum build to add a crosswalk at this location.

Another option is a “high visibility” ladder style painted crosswalk with the same pedestrian ramps. This option would need the use of additives to increase the paint traction as roadway paint can be slippery when wet.

A third option includes a rectangular rapid flashing beacon, similar to what is at Oregon Middle School and Rome Corners Intermediate.

A fourth option detailed a pedestrian activated traffic signal controlled crosswalk.

A crossing would be warranted if typical average hourly volumes at the Main Street location reach 300 pedestrians for four hours each day, Strand wrote.

Strand wrote, and the trustees agreed, that drivers would be more likely to comply with the traffic signal.

Defining construction roles

By the time the project is bid, the library board will need to determine whether to hire a construction manager or use a design-bid-build model.

A letter from Stafford Rosenbaum Attorneys to library director Jennifer Endres Way and village administrator Mike Gracz detailed the architect’s construction manager and owner representative’s roles in the design and construction process.

It states the village and library board are exploring two different construction delivery to organize the design and construction work for the library. One is a design-bid-build model, in which a single company would be responsible for the entire construction project, and the other is construction management, in which a consultant coordinates the project.

Under the design-bid-build model, the Library Board would hire a design team of architects and engineers to develop plans for a building to fit the owner’s goals and budget.

Based on the completed building plans, the board would select a contractor through a competitive bidding process to construct the building for a set price. During construction, the architect would verify that the contractor builds according to the plans.

Under the construction management model, the board would hire a construction manager early in the design phase, and the manager can either act as an adviser or a prime contractor.

Those are formally regarded in the letter as “Construction Manager as Adviser” and “Construction Manager at Risk.” The adviser role would have no legal responsibility for the performance of the actual construction work.

Either version would assume part of the owner’s duties in the construction process. This role is often chosen when the entity that owns the project has little experience in construction.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.