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Shelves going up at Poulsbo library
"POULSBO - After nearly two months of delays, renovation work at the new Kitsap Regional Library in Poulsbo is finally falling into place. Much-awaited bookshelves - representing one of the last major details of the project - arrived at the site this week and could very well be installed by Monday. The addition of the shelves and a few minor touch-ups are expected to put the postponed opening of the library on track for some time in earlier November. Delays by Kent contractor Flagg Construction have already pushed the project well past its anticipated finish date of Sept. 5 and caused the North Kitsap Friends of the Library to cancel a grand opening celebration at the Lincoln Road building. The party, initially planned for this weekend, has been put on hold indefinitely. Friends of the Library president Barbara Monks said the group would most likely wait until everything was completed before going ahead with its plans. The completion should be sooner rather than later though. John Stephenson said Flagg Construction has recently made the renovation one of its top priorities, with good reason. When the firm was hired last year it signed a contract stating that it would pay $500 a day in liquidated damages should the project remain incomplete after the finish date. Forty-six days have come and gone since Sept. 5, putting Flagg's current fine on the project at $23,000. In response, Stephenson said the company has doubled its efforts at the library. Flagg Construction has really bumped up their finish crews. A truck delivered the shelves on Monday and they might be completed this week, he explained, noting that company president Dick Schnell was working with the city on the renovation. Schnell replaced Flagg's vice president Bruce Sparling as project manager soon after the Sept. 5 finish date came and went. (Schnell) told me on Tuesday he felt he'd be ready for substantial completion by the end of the month, Stephenson said. I think after that they can pretty much start using it. There will be some finishing touches but (library equipment and staff) might be able to move in the first week of November. Although substantial progress has been made on the structure, the city has yet to resolve a $130,000 question as to whether it or Flagg Construction is responsible for the final cost of the shelves. Poulsbo will enter mediation proceedings with the company next month in an attempt to avoid a potential court battle. Stephenson is certain that the residents of the county could look forward to a fantastic library facility for years to come. I feel the citizens of the area will be very pleased with the quality of the building, he remarked. "