After raising a concern that the Central Library renovation wouldn't have enough private funds to proceed, Mayor Paul Soglin now says he's confident the city can bid the project this fall.
With some changes, the project can proceed with just $4 million in private funds, half the total amount. The Library Foundation has already raised $1.5 million, and has until Labor Day to snare another $2.5 million. If it succeeds, says Soglin, the project can go to bid.
"Our goal is to get the library under construction on schedule and make sure when we go out to bid, we have sufficient funds to pay for it," he says.
Tripp Wilder, president of the Library Board, says getting the project started soon is important, because the library is in bad shape and the board has been putting off maintenance. "We would have had to spend significant dollars just to keep it open, which would have been money wasted."