You can call it a setback or call it a reprieve, but the construction of the long-planned 5,000-square-foot addition to the Commerce Public Library is on hold.
Alan Harkness, director of the Piedmont Regional Library, explained the latest development Monday night to the Commerce Library Board.
“The state has elected not to sell the bonds this fiscal year,” he said. “That puts the project on hold.” The current fiscal year ends June 30.
The library board cannot start construction until Georgia sells the bonds to raise capital for the project. But as long as the bonds are not cancelled, the delay is not necessarily bad, Harkness noted.
That’s because Commerce still lacks about $60,000 of raising its share ($583,000) of the $2 million price tag to qualify for the state’s share ($1.5 million).
In fact, Harkness said he’s previously asked the state library consultant to put off the bond sales for that reason.
“It’s a good time to put it on hold,” he said. “We are about to finish the design and development stage and if you don’t break ground right away, you end up with a lot of change orders.”
Harkness speculated that the state could sell the bonds in September or October. Before getting the news on the funding delay, he’d projected a fall groundbreaking at the earliest.