Education

Cranbury: New Library Project Short $400K After Bids Opened

a896d56731ba147d385d_best_crop_c06a80f48fb5471c17a7_pic-0611017-12_34439415284_o_2x.jpg
a896d56731ba147d385d_best_crop_c06a80f48fb5471c17a7_pic-0611017-12_34439415284_o_2x.jpg

CRANBURY, NJ – Supporters of building a new library in the township will likely have to wait a bit longer for shovels to hit the ground due to a shortfall of about $400,000 from the funds raised to the recently opened bids to build the project.

According to a press release from Cranbury Public Library Director Marilynn Mullen, some 17 bids on the estimated $3 million project were opened July 26, with the lowest going to Thomas & Sons Builders, LLC, of New Milford, at $3,089,197.

The Library Foundation raised $2.6 million through private donations from some 700 residents, according to officials.

Sign Up for E-News

“We’ve been working towards a cost estimate for some time, and now we know the amount to proceed,” Library Board President Kirstie Venanzi said in the release. “While we hoped to have enough today to move forward, there is a gap of about $400,000 before we can accept the bid and award the contract. We are exploring options to see if we can complete the funding for the project in the next 60 days.”

According to the release, supporters of the project are planning to appear at the Aug. 14 Township Committee meeting at town hall to see what can be done to move forward on the project.

“We are asking our supporters to attend the meeting and let the committee know how important this project is to them,” Mullen said in the release.

If a solution is not forthcoming, the bids would need to be rejected and the process would start all over again with a new proposal going out for another round of bidding.

One possibility the Library Foundation is exploring is a state matching program that could cover part, or all, of the shortfall, if approved by state voters in November, officials said.

According to the release, Gov. Chris Christie signed the NJ Library Construction Bond Act last week, placing it on the general election ballot in November.

If approved, the act could provide matching funds for approved library construction projects in New Jersey. Timing and criteria for this project will be determined by the State Librarian, the release said.

The big sticking point is that committee members said they favored the project if the foundation “had the money in the bank” for the construction.

While Committeeman Jay Taylor praised the “passion” and fundraising efforts, he said this week that the supporters need to beat some more donation bushes to fill the gap.

“To build the library they must have enough cash in their accounts. They did not have $2.9 million in their accounts in 2015, which is the equivalent of $3 million today,” Taylor said. “I am fully supportive of their efforts, but the library needs to close the gap, in my view, with additional fundraising. And those who really want a new building will need to come forward to help.”

Taylor said the shortfall also does not consider a “contingency fund” of five-percent of the cost in case of cost overruns, which would make the gap closer to $550,000.

“I was hoping we would be finished with the major fundraising,” Library Foundation President Michael Ferrante said in the release. “But now we have clarity on exactly how far we are from the finish line. I am confident of our ability to reach our goal. All of Cranbury will benefit from this new community space.”

Since 1960, the library has shared space in the Cranbury School Media Center.

After acknowledging this arrangement didn’t meet the needs of either group, a foundation was set up in 2009 to raise funds for a stand-alone library and community center, the release said.

According to the release, donations to help close the gap can be dropped off at the library; additional ways to give can be found at the Foundation website (www.cranburylibraryfoundation.org).

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at ckim@tapinto.net or nwells@tapinto.net and click here today to keep local news in your community. We need your support now!

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our Facebook Page!

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android - Click here for iOS .

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

New Brunswick Civic League Leader Still Looking for New Challenges After 48 Years at Helm

June 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - After 48 years of leading the charge for change in New Brunswick, Dr. C. Roy Epps can still be found quietly working on weekends in The Civic League of Greater New Brunswick offices.

The tireless commitment of the 77-year-old President and CEO of this non-profit has helped provide residents access to a variety of health, housing and education services over the ...

Couple Netted $8M from Fake Uggs, Designer Bags, Prosecutor Says

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Plainsboro couple could face charges of of selling counterfeit designer shoes and handbags, netting $8 million and sending $3 million to people in China, authorities said today.

Yan Shi, 36, and her husband, Weiping Liu, 40, were arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy to violate the New Jersey Trademark ...

Brookside Pool Club Celebrating 65th Anniversary

MILLTOWN, NJ - The calendar may not officially say summer, but the water is certainly fine at the borough's Brookside Swim Club. Brookside is marking its 65th anniversary this year and the festivities will make a big splash of fun as they do every June, July and August.

Weather dampened the swim club's grand opening weekend. Brookside opens up to its members young and young at heart ...

Applications to Rutgers Jumps Nearly 10 Percent; Increase from Out-of-State Students

June 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Applications to Rutgers University this year increased 9.4 percent over last year, university President Robert Barchi told the Board of Governors at a meeting this week.

The university received nearly 45,000 applications this year, Barchi said.

That included a 20 percent increase in the number of students from out-side New Jersey applying to Rutgers, the university ...

Watson Coleman Introduces Resolution Acknowledging the Failures of the War on Drugs

June 15, 2018

As the House prepares to vote on more than 20 bills aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic over the next two weeks, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) announced a resolution that seeks parity in the treatment of drug use and addiction and a formal apology for the War on Drugs. H.Res. 933 expresses the sense of Congress that the War on Drugs failed, and calls out the disparate treatment of ...

MCRO Chairwoman Panos Celebrates Re-Election, Promises Party Unity to Defeat Menendez

FORDS, NJ-  Middlesex County Republican Organization (MCRO) Chairwoman Lucille Panos of Old Bridge was re-elected to a second two-year term as that organization's chairwoman.  Also re-elected were Edison chairwoman Sylvia Engel as vice-chair, and South Brunswick chairwoman Antonia Kulberda as secretary.  Rounding out the victors was Harold Kane of Monroe, ...

Franklin Township: Ladies Days Every Tuesday at KPS Garage

Every Tuesday throughout the ​summer, women will receive 10% off all repairs and service at KPS Princeton Garage located at 3860 Route 27 in South Brunswick.

Simply mention this promotion at time of drop-off. 

KPS Princeton Garage can be reached at 732-297-9515 or at kpsprincetonauto@aol.com

Small Business Ownership vs. Entrepreneurship

Written by: Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column, Published on 6/18/2018

Tags: Business, Community, Crowdfunding, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business

Source: So, which are you – a Small Business Owner or an Entrepreneur? We compare the similarities and differences between the two, so you can ...