Benefits of a Project Manager in Library Building Projects
Thanks to Denice Lee for this information, posted originally on PUBLIB listserv and shared here with permission.
Having just completed a building project for a new library in July 2009, I wanted to pass along a lesson learned to anyone in the library community who may be currently looking at a library building project or may be doing so in the near future.
In Lebanon, Oregon, a new library (19,000 sq.ft.) and a new justice center (30,000 sq.ft.) were managed as one project and built at the same time. The project started with Ground Breaking in May 2008 and finished with the Grand Opening in July 2009. The City of Lebanon used the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC) building method for the project which came in on time and on budget. The core team from the City of Lebanon was made up of me as the library director, the chief of police, and the information technology manager.
One of the key elements to the success of the project was hiring a project manager. In our case, that was Doug Roberts of Hill International, Inc. The benefits of having a project manager cannot be overstated. The complexity and time demands of a project like this are significant, to say the least.
A project manager understands contracts, the hiring of architects and contractors, the building process, how to manage a construction schedule and how to manage costs and the project budget. When our project initially came in WAY over budget, Doug understood what needed to be kept in the project, what could be cut, and what could be modified. Through his understanding of the construction process he was able to discuss construction techniques with the contractors (Howard S. Wright Constructors) that would reduce costs but retain the necessary functionality and overall integrity of the project. A project manager is your agent and advocate throughout the building process. The earlier he/she is brought into the project the more you'll be able to benefit from their skills.
When Jim Scheppke came to see our new library we talked about the building project and project managers in particular. He asked me to share my experience with all of you. I hope you find it helpful.
Doug Roberts made some information available to me when I told him I wanted other librarians involved with building projects to understand the key role played by a project manager. [Attached]
Lebanon Public Library
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