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Tuesday, April 24 News

15 firms vie to be construction manager for Westport Library expansion

The town opened 15 bids Monday from construction management companies vying for the job of coordinating and overseeing the proposed expansion of the Westport Library.

The bids were opened by Richard Kotchko, purchasing officer in the Finance Department.

The bids were submitted by 11 Connecticut businesses, three in New Jersey and one from Rhode Island.

"There's no dollar amount attached to the bids," he said. "They include just the background of the companies."

The bids now go to Stephen Smith, the town's building official, who will narrow the list down to a more manageable number, Kotchko said. The final group will then be interviewed for details about their credentials and experience.

The general outline of the library expansion plan, projected to cost roughly $20 million to 25 million, would include an additional 12,654 square feet to the existing 43,916-square-foot building at 20 Jesup Road, as well as some changes to the area landscaping and parking.

In February, a land-use report that could pave the way for the eventual expansion of the library on town-owned Jesup Green has won unanimous approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The P&Z, at that time, voted unanimously night to approve the "8-24 report" filed by First Selectman Jim Marpe, which would allow the library to move forward with a planned 35-foot expansion northward on the green.

The approval, however, was only for the land-use request and not a formal expansion plan, which has yet to be officially proposed by library officials.