The old library needs a new roof


On Thursday City Council will likely approve putting out a solicitation for the “removal and replacement of approximately 29,000 square feet of roofing material” on the old Faulk Library at 800 Guadalupe.

The plan is for Faulk to help out of its next-door neighbor, the Austin History Center, with document storage. The library explains (emphasis theirs):

The Austin History Center currently has over 50,000 square feet of archival collections packed into the 33,000-square foot building. Now that we have opened the Central Library, the History Center is planning to use a portion of the former John Henry Faulk Library so it can continue to expand its collection and further its mission to preserve Austin’s history. The building will retain its name, so the John Henry Faulk Library will become the John Henry Faulk Building.

Apparently the old building needs a new roof. The city is prepared to spend up to $1.3 million. City staff has recommended soliciting a contractor for the job via a “Competitive Sealed Proposal” rather than the traditional “competitive bidding” process. According to city staff, the only difference between the two is that CSP prioritizes “safety record and safety practices, comparable relevant project experience, sustainability practices, local business presence, financial stability and price,” while traditional bidding “focuses primarily on price and bidder responsibility.”

Here’s staff’s justification for the process:

The Competitive Sealed Proposal methodology is recommended as the best value to the City due to the complexity of the roofing system, proximity to a high-traffic area with limited space for staging, and to preserve historical documents kept in the building.

Staff is hoping construction on the new roof will begin in the spring.

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