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Asbestos removal may hike city library window replacement cost

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Ogdensburg Public Library’s pending window replacement may cost more than originally estimated because of unexpected asbestos abatement.

Director Wayne L. Miller said the project’s budget was originally just over $105,000. That was covered by a $52,710 state library construction grant and a local match. But the presence of more asbestos than expected in the old glazing that surrounds the windows, which must be removed, will likely increase the cost.

“In preparation for putting the window project out to bid, we tested for asbestos,” he said. “The glazing on 31 (of the 44) windows tested over the one percent threshold. This means a certified asbestos abatement contractor must be hired to remove the glazing. We must also hire a certified testing company to monitor the abatement process.”

The estimate is now $120,000 and holding.

“We now know what we must do and I am currently obtaining cost estimates for that work,” Mr. Miller said. “These are costs in excess of those budgeted for the weather stripping and other repairs to our forty-four 1923 windows. These costs are in addition to the other 50 percent needed for the replacement and renovation funds already being sought to match the state grant.”

The city pulled the local share from the library’s 2013 budget and instead may tag it onto a bond that would also borrow money to buy a pumper truck for the fire department and a Zamboni ice maintenance vehicle for the Richard G. Lockwood Civic Center rink.

“I am exploring all opportunities to apply for grants,” Mr. Miller said.

Elsewhere, the quest for more state funds to cover the cost of another exterior renovation at the 312 Washington St. landmark is apparently in a race against potential damage to the historic building’s exterior.

“Our application for at least half - $24,732 - of the $49,464 estimated cost of replacing two large sections of stucco exterior has received regional endorsement and awaits state approval in Albany,” he said.

The west-facing portions of the building have started falling off. Sheets of plywood weighed down with cinder blocks have been placed to prevent punctures in the new roof membrane in the event of more wall failure.

The other window needs at the library include the replacement of three 1970s bow vinyl windows at the rear and the side on the first floor that are clouded beyond cleaning.

The 44 wood-frame windows date back to the library’s 1923 renovation. They need to be stripped and re-glazed to improve heat efficiency.

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