Library delays new Fort Ben, Glendale branches due to cost escalations

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Glendale Library
The Glendale branch of the Indianapolis Public Library system is expected to move to a new building nearby when it's completed.

The Indianapolis Public Library system announced Tuesday that it expects construction to be delayed on its Fort Ben and Glendale branches by four to five months because of cost increases.

The library system said in a statement that it plans to revise its financing plan for the projects “to accommodate the higher costs.”

The new branches were part of 2014 financing plan that capped project budgets at about $12 million per building. New projections put the cost at $14 million per location, “despite architectural design efforts to make the buildings as cost-effective as possible,” library officials said.

The 2014 financing approvals “did not predict the rising construction costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic including increased labor costs and significant inflation of construction materials prices,” the system said.

The 25,000-square foot Fort Ben branch is to be built on 2.8 acres at 9330 E. 56th St., with construction originally slated to start this month. Ratio Architects designed the project and a team from Skillman Corp. and Davis & Associates Inc. is handling construction management.

The new Glendale branch from Glendale Town Center is expected to move to the site of the former John Strange Elementary School at 3660 E. 62nd St.

Work on the new branch was expected to begin this fall, with krM Architecture handling design and Power & Sons Construction Co. managing construction.

The library said it will maintain the same tax rate that was promised in the 2014 budget plan despite the financing changes.

“We have made commitments to these communities, and intend to honor them, but the Library has an obligation to be good stewards of tax dollars,” Indianapolis Public Library CEO Jackie Nytes said in written remarks. “We must be realistic about the current markets within the construction industry.”

Barring any further delays, both locations are expected to open sometime in 2023.

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2 thoughts on “Library delays new Fort Ben, Glendale branches due to cost escalations

    1. Because children who live with adults who cannot afford to buy books or computers or ipads or internet deserve access to all those things. As do children who live with financially irresponsible adults who may get a manicure or an expensive haircut or drugs instead of internet access. And adults who cannot afford all of those things can still read books or use a computer. About to get mom a kindle so she can checkout and read ebooks with this pandemic dragging on forever, keeping her out of her branch library.