Council, staff get look at work on new public library
Posted on 1/26/2016 7:17:00 AM.


(Seguin) -- City officials are getting their first look at the construction progress at the new Seguin-Guadalupe County Public Library, and they are very impressed by what they've seen so far. 

Seguin City Council members and members of city staff walked through the construction site recently to check out the work being done on the voter approved public library project. The new 40,000 square foot building is nestled along the banks of Walnut Creek in downtown Seguin.
City Councilwoman Donna Dodgen says she was mesmerized by its size of the building and it's scenic location.
"Oh my gosh! How amazing and how fortunate we are. It is just incredible. People are going to be awed and excited. I don't have a favorite spot. Every piece you can see is just such beauty. It's just wonderful. We are just moving and growing and this is just a part of it," said Dodgen.
The new library happens to be located in Councilman Carlos Medrano's district. He says living near by has allowed him to see and appreciate the daily transformation of the building.
"We're right downtown. I'm close by, three blocks from here. I pass through here every day, at least 10 times a day. I look and look and make sure I like what I see and I like what I see and now even more," said Medrano. 

Seguin Mayor Don Keil says actually being in the building has provided him an even greater appreciation for this new community space.
"I've only looked at the building from the outside up until now. Now, that we're inside and looking around, I think the scale is just amazing. I was not prepared for this wonderful open space looking out over the creek there. I think folks are going to be amazed at how beautiful this is going to turnout when this is done. It is truly a spectacular structure," said Keil.
Councilwoman Fonda Mathis says she was immediately impressed with just the walls and large glass that help shape the building. She says the creek alone sets the perfect ambience for a library.
"I'm overwhelmed. It's impressive in size and in features. It's going to be a 'wow' factor for our town and we deserve it," said Mathis.
Joining the group for the tour was Library Director Jacki Gross. Gross, who tours the building at least twice a month, says even she is impressed every time she steps on site.
"On a professional level, there aren't very many directors who get to be part of building a new building. So just that experience has been awesome and then to see it come together like this is just phenomenal. I can't wait to open, I can't," said Gross.
Gross says she's excited for the city who can celebrate such a project. She says it will add benefit to everyone's life whether it be for school, business, personal use or community affairs.
"It's always been Schertz got a new library, New Braunfels has this, but this is going to help put Seguin right up there as a place to visit, a place to live, because there's so many other things going on too," said Gross.
City Manager Doug Faseler says the entire project from the very beginning has moved along perfectly. He says the library will no doubt serve as a heartbeat for the entire city.
"It's awesome and I think we're at the point of construction that I thought it was time for council to see how things were looking on site. Everybody is looking at it from the street. It's on schedule for finishing in June. We'll have move in the end of June and we're hoping for a grand opening in July. We're very pleased with the relationship working with the contractor. They're doing a great job," said Faseler.
Serving as the contractor is Byrne Construction Services.
Leading the construction of the new library is Project Manager Devin Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick says following a small hiccup at the beginning, he believes the project has come together quite nicely.
"The most significant challenge we faced was during the foundation. We encountered water, a high water table. We had to do some water mitigation efforts underground in order to get the foundation installed on time. That's probably been our greatest challenge to date for the project," said Fitzpatrick.
He says Seguin's new library is definitely unique and encompasses all the fine details of a great building.
"What makes this project unique is -- I think architecturally and as far as integrated AV (audio/video) and IT (information technology), it's probably one of the most advanced buildings that this market has in Seguin. It's wonderful that it's serving the public so that it'll be a place that several generations can use for the next 60 or 80 years and gather here, learn here and read books," said Fitzpatrick.
Contractors say at this point, the building is approximately 55 percent done. Voters in 2013 approved a bond package for the $14.8 million project. A total of $11 million is going to the actual construction of the building, GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price). Again, the building is expected to be completed in June.
Seguin-Guadalupe County Public Library, city of Seguin

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