March 27, 2012 – The Decatur Daily “Athens hires construction manager for library project”
By Ben Montgomery
A Limestone County company has been selected for the $6 million Athens-Limestone Public Library project, a move Councilwoman Milly Caudle said is “the first step toward getting something done.”
The council approved a resolution at its Monday meeting to name Limestone Building Group LLC the construction manager. The company will oversee construction of the new library, work with the architect and can hire subcontractors.
“With a project of this magnitude, we have to hire somebody,” Caudle said. “We don’t have anybody on staff now, so we have to go outside the city.”
Mayor Ronnie Marks said the next step for the city is to vote on whether to accept Limestone Building Group’s proposal to hire Kerrick Whisenant, president of the American Subcontractors Association and Tanner-based Cornerstone Detention Products, to oversee the project.
Because the library is a joint project between the city and county, the Limestone County Commission will also have to concur before the hirings are final.
Debbie Joyner, an independent fundraising consultant advising the library foundation, said the current Athens-Limestone Public Library has an annual operating budget of about $500,000. The new library, to be located at the former Kroger building on South Jefferson Street at Forrest Street, has an anticipated annual operating budget of $600,000.
“One of the concerns right now is that the new library will have a higher operating cost than the current one,” Joyner said. “We have a budget that addresses that.”
The foundation is planning four new revenue streams to make up the $100,000 difference: a dedicated room for the Friends of the Library organization to sell used books, conference rooms and a computer lab that can be rented to businesses, a coffee shop and new annual fundraising events, like an upcoming May 5 “Storytelling Ball” aimed at school-age children and their families.
“Whenever an organization has a capital campaign, there’s a residual effect,” Joyner said. “There are always donors found that will remain loyal.”