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More funds needed for Sharpsburg Community Library expansion project

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

It will take more fundraising to begin the expansion of the Sharpsburg Community Library.

Bids for the project came in higher than expected.

Jill McConnell, interim director of the Cooper-Siegel Library, said about $75,000 more is needed for the project. So far, the library has raised more than $834,000 to pay for the work.

No contract has been awarded but McConnell said the library is working to reduce costs.

“We are working with the lowest bidder to do some value engineering to see where we can cut some costs but not lose any functionality of the building itself,” McConnell said.

The Fox Chapel District Association donated $25,000 toward the project to help with the extra cost. Sharpsburg Borough Secretary Jan Barbus said at last week's council meeting the library would be open to any help or suggestions of funding sources from the borough or the community.

“If you have any ideas on how to bring the costs down even more, let me know,” Barbus said.

The expansion of the library on Main Street has been in the works for several years with the project going out for bids earlier this year. The library expansion will double its current size according to plans originally unveiled in 2012. Increased use was cited as the reason for the project.

McConnell said even though costs have risen, those working on the project are eager to get the project done.

“Everyone involved in the project is very dedicated to getting it done,” McConnell said.

Work was expected to be completed by the fall. McConnell said she is hopeful that will still happen.

“If we can break ground by the end of this month, we can still make that target date,” McConnell said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or

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