Initially expected to be completed by Sunday, the $9.1 million Golden Triangle Branch Library in far north Fort Worth is only 40 percent done and expectations now are it won't be ready for several more months.
The contractor, Garland-based Denco Construction Specialists, has experienced many delays, "almost all of which are attributable to the contractor," according to a staff report to the City Council. Some of the delays pushed the project's completion to July 7, but that's been moved to January, or later.
Denco was awarded the contract in May of 2017 and given the green light to start working in mid-August.
"Inspections by City staff have found less than quality work being performed on multiple occasions, which has required the contractor to redo work and call for additional inspections before passing and moving on to the next phase of construction," the report said.
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District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton, where the library is located, said he's disappointed in the delays because he's anxious for the public to see the facility, which showcases an inviting, learning atmosphere.
Shingleton said he understands the current tight construction labor market in North Texas, but that there's also dangers in taking the low-bidder.
"Oh, yeah, it will get done, hopefully with alacrity now, to our specifications," Shingleton said.
The library, at 4264 Golden Triangle Blvd., was approved by voters in the 2014 bond program. It was always scheduled to be one of the last project's completed as part of that program.
Denco issued a statement Tuesday saying much of the delay has been because of "unforeseen site conditions" not included in the project's soils report. The company said it found hard rock and water beneath the site that slowed utility work and putting in piers.
"These conditions resulted in a significant change to all underground foundation work in both time and expertise required," the company said. Denco said it expects the project's pace to pick up now that that work is completed.
"Denco has worked with the city to address scheduling issues and believes we are on track to a successful completion," it said.
Denco CS bested eight other construction firms, submitting a nearly $4.8 million bid. The city paid $1.5 million in 2015 to buy 3.5-acres near the Golden Triangle Boulevard and North Beach Street in September 2015 for the building. The city has also spent $721,900 in the design phase and another $2.1 million in other project costs, bringing the total to $9.1 million.
Fort Worth has leaned on the contractor in recent months and that seems to have helped, said Steve Cooke, Fort Worth's property management director.
The contractor has submitted an updated schedule and so far has been sticking to it, and has corrected problems found during inspections, Cooke said.
The city is trying to avoid bringing in the company's bonding firm, because doing so could put the project on hold for six- to eight-months, he said.
"Oh, it will get finished properly," Cooke said. "It's going to get done right. We are not going to compromise on quality."
The city sent an early warning letter to Denco in late January regarding the project's construction pace. At that time, the library was only 20 percent completed and 27 percent completed at the end of February.
In an email response to the city in February, Denco said it "is committed to providing the resources and expertise required to see this project through."
Denco said the delays have included bad weather and their concrete subcontractor faced staffing issues in November and December.