HardwickNews

Jeudevine Expansion Due to Redesign and Remobilize

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by Jodi Lew-Smith, Community Journalist 

HARDWICK – The Jeudevine Library expansion project, that has had continual delays, has been delayed once again due to the discovery of water in the ground. Water flows through this area of town on the way downhill to the river, possibly from a spring located across from Hazen Union. Historical records show the Memorial Building construction hit soil described as “quicksand,” and the parking lot for the American Legion also had to be “dewatered” during construction.

In the vein of quicksand, the water in the ground creates unstable soil conditions and thus construction had to cease for the installation of dewatering pumps. The flood on July 10 did nothing to improve things, as great amounts of water flowed through the construction site and made clear that extra drainage and stabilization would be required. Because the library is a commercial building, it was slated to have a commercial elevator installed; however, a commercial elevator requires deep excavation that was looking to be highly risky for the existing historic library.

After several months of consulting experts to get a sense of costs and choices, the expansion team finally made the difficult decision to raise the building addition by two feet and apply for a variance to install a lighter-duty type of elevator that requires less deep excavation. To alleviate impediments to accessibility caused by raising the building, the architects and engineers performed a fairly extensive redesign that preserved the goals of the 2018 community design meetings.

The changes to the plans will bring additional costs and the expansion team is assessing the extent of those increases. Redesigned plans and a tentative re-mobilization date has been set for September 29.