Willson ‘frustrated’ with library architect

By Travis Gulbrandson


Some members of the Vermillion City Council expressed their dissatisfaction with the architecture firm that designed the addition and renovation of the Vermillion Public Library.

The comments regarding Architecture Incorporated of Sioux Falls were made when the council members approved the project's fifth change order at their regular meeting Monday night.

"I am becoming very frustrated with the fact that our architect has missed so many items, and we've had to make change orders," said council vice president Howard Willson.

Willson went on to say that many of the changes should have been found during the architect's preliminary inspection of the building.

"I hope that when this is over with, that we write a letter expressing our concern that they did not do a very good job," he said.

Change Order #5 concerns three different items. The first is regarding the plan to replace the cedar soffit along the west side of the building with exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS).

Assistant city manager Andrew Colvin said that the existing cedar soffit was found to be in very good condition and has the potential to last longer than the EIFS soffit that would have replaced it.

Acceptance of the proposal to leave it reduced the contract price by $1,100.

The second proposal is to replace the glazing (glass) along the west side of the existing building, as it was noticed during construction that the window seals are starting to fail.

The cost to replace the windows is $4,613.

The third proposal would replace the original ductboard in the existing building with new insulated sheet metal ducts similar to those in the new portion of the building.

Colvin said it would be more economical to replace the ducts when the ceiling is opened up for construction, and that the sheet metal ducts are more durable in the long-term.

Replacement of the ductboard with insulated sheet metal ducts will cost $17,052.

These changes are the latest in the project, with others including getting the correct size doors for the south entrance, raising four rows of pendant lights and the provision of temporary electric and data at the interim circulation desk.

While the council members did approve the latest change order, Vermillion Mayor Jack Powell asked City Manager John Prescott if the city had any recourse against the architect.

"On these particular items, I don't know that we would," Prescott said, adding that his sense of the situation is that the changes are being treated as "optional items."

The council members also authorized the purchase of a wheel loader to replace the one that was destroyed in the Oct. 22 fire at the Vermillion Landfill – which itself had been purchased this past February.

A bid for that wheel loader was awarded to the Butler Machinery Company at the cost of $118,275, including a deduct-option of $1,601.

Assistant city engineer Jason Anderson said Butler Machinery agreed to honor that bid price if the city completed the purchase of a new wheel loader by Dec. 31.

According to a memo provided to council members, insurance proceeds will cover the cost of the loader, while the solid rubber tires it requires will be covered with reserve funds.

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