Rockingham hired Engleberth to button up library
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | January 17,2013
BELLOWS FALLS — The Rockingham Select Board has hired a construction firm to button up the Rockingham Free Public Library, which is in the middle of an ambitious renovation project.
Town Manager Tim Cullenen said Wednesday the board hired Engelberth Construction of Colchester on a time and materials contract to put the library into a secure situation.
The library is in the midst of a $2.9 million renovation project, but the original general contractor, Baybutt Construction Co. of Keene, N.H., has been declared in default of its contract for failing to pay subcontractors and for failing to take out a payment and performance bond.
Town and library officials, accompanied by the town attorney and the architect on the project, toured the stalled construction project Tuesday and came up with a course of action.
Cullenen said that Baybutt has until today to redeem its contract with the town, but he said he didn’t believe that was likely. Baybutt has defaulted on a construction contract with the state of Vermont as well for the $2.6 million renovation of the state office in Brattleboro.
Cullenen said it was a “matter of weeks” of how much work Engelberth would be doing on the building. Work that needs to be done includes closing up the roof over the new elevator shaft, closing in some windows and getting the library’s primary new heating system in place. Currently, he said, it is “roughed” in.
Engelberth was selected because of its track record with the town’s architect, and Cullenen said that Engelberth was also one of the finalists for the library construction project and is very familiar with the project as a result.
“They have a strong working relationship with the architect,” said Cullenen, referring to Sheerr McCrystal Palson Architecture of New London, N.H.
Cullenen said the town can’t move on taking control of the project until the full 10 days expire that are outlined in the contract.
Cullenen estimated that between 40 percent to 45 percent of the entire renovation project had been completed, primarily the “rough” work such as electrical wiring, demolition and the rough carpentry. All finish work needs to be done.
He said the town had paid out $900,000 so far of the $2.9 million project, but he said that a person can’t make a direct parallel between the amount spent and the amount of work completed. According to records on file last week at the Rockingham town clerk’s office, liens totalling $466,000 have been filed against the library and Baybutt as a result of the construction project.
He said the town was waiting for the redemption period to expire before beginning the process of finding a new general contractor for the library project.