Three branch library projects suffer three-month delays

The latest setback in the San Francisco Public Library’s branch improvement program is three-month delays for three branch library projects. It is the latest in a rash of recent scheduling complications for the program.

On Thursday, the Library Commission will be briefed on the reason for the scheduled changes, the reason why residents won’t be able to enjoy their renovated branches as soon as they once thought.

The branches are the Anza, Ortega and Golden Gate Valley branches. The delays are blamed on “unforeseen” circumstances requiring more time to complete construction work. For example, the delay in completion of the Anza Branch is a result of “unforeseen subgrade conditions, problems with the existing foundation which impacted the proposed foundation design and required special geotechnical considerations, unforeseen utilities work including additional coordination with AT&T and PG&E to obtain power and meet new requirements, relocation of electrical conduits to below grade, and additional demolition and concrete work and delay in fabrication and delivery of steel windows,” according to City Librarian Luis Herrera.

Once complete, they are sure to draw much praise, which has been the general reception once the branch projects are complete.

The program had a rocky start as well, with shortfalls and scheduling problems.

The commission meets at 4:30 p.m., in Koret Auditorium at the Main Library located in the Civic Center area.

So, the Anza branch was going to open in February 2011 and will now open in May, the Ortega branch was set to open in April 2011, but will now open in July 2011, and the Golden Gate branch was supposed to open in June 2011 but will now open in September 2011.

These schedules are tentative. The delays could worsen. “Once the full extent of these construction delays have been determined, along with the results of mitigation measures to lessen the delays, Library and BLIP management will return to the Library Commission to request approval of schedule changes for these projects,” a memo from Herrera said.

The cost overruns “are currently being addressed by utilizing the construction and project contingency budgets.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLuis HerreraPoliticsSan Francisco Public LibraryUnder the Dome

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