The construction team for the new Delaware County District Library branch in Powell continues to take shape – meaning the library itself now can do the same.

The library’s board of trustees approved the recommendations of the board’s evaluation committee to enter into an agreement with Thomas & Marker Construction as the construction manager at risk for the project at a Dec. 17 meeting. The firm was one of four that submitted proposals.

With a construction manager at risk – the term applies to additional liabilities assumed by the firm in addition to oversight on construction – now in place, design can begin in earnest.

The library earlier this month held a series of public meetings with SHP, the architecture firm the board hired to design the new library at the corner of Home and Steitz roads and will use that information and other data and feedback as it begins the design process early in 2020, said Shea McMahon, SHP’s Columbus office director.

Ongoing public feedback on the new library also is being accepted at delawarelibrary.org/mylibrary, where updates about the project also are posted.

Thomas & Marker has offices in Columbus and Marysville. Its portfolio includes 250 civic projects and 100 municipalities served.

In its proposal, Thomas & Marker touted the firm’s local connection to the Delaware County community, citing the completion of 57 projects within a 10-mile radius in the past six years.

The firm built the city of Powell’s solar picnic pavilion at Village Green Park. Other projects of note include Zoombezi Bay at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium; Marysville Bunsold Middle School; Mad River Mountain Ski Resort in Zanesfield; and the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Library renovations or additions include Ohio Northern University College of Law, Central State University and the Wright-Patterson Air Force Institute of Technology.

Construction is expected to begin on the 20,000- to 25,000-square-foot library next summer. Library director George Needham said he hopes to open it by summer 2021.

Needham said the library intends to purchase the portion of the land in the development on which the new library will sit from developer John Wicks. The library will go before Powell City Council and the city’s planning and zoning commission with a separate development plan from the rest of the development, to be known as Middlebury Crossing, said Powell spokeswoman Megan Canavan.

The cost of the project is anticipated to be $7.5 million, not counting land purchase.

Delaware County voters’ renewal of a 1-mill levy in November 2018 will allow the new library to be built, library leaders have said.

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