Work May Resume on Stalled Library

Times Staff Writer

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to decide today whether to award a $1.3-million contract to a Los Angeles construction company to complete the Oak Park Library after the original contractor defaulted.

The building, next to Oak Park High School on Kanan Road, is about 60% complete.

The 10,000-square-foot public library should be completed in three months if the contract with Richard & Richard Construction Co. is approved, said Alec Pringle, director of engineering services for the county.

Pringle said he did not know why the original builder, Los Angeles-based KC Lee, couldn't complete the work on its $2-million contract in July, but such activity is rare for Ventura County government contractors.

"I've been here a little under 10 years and I know of one other default," Pringle said Monday.

The county will not lose any money on the deal, because the insurance company for KC Lee will meet its contractual obligations and pay the county an additional $275,000, he said.

The extra money will compensate for $150,000 in damages caused by the delay and any defects found in work done by KC Lee that the county would have to pay to correct.

The original contract was awarded three years ago.

The Oak Park Library, which has been located at the high school for 21 years, was scheduled to open last fall in the new building.

When it is completed, it will remain open to the public for more hours each week, because it will no longer be bound by the high school's schedule.

The library is jointly operated by the county and the Oak Park Unified School District, which are paying for the construction.

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