Orem residents have waited a long time for an addition to the library and the upgrade to the recreation center. Now that voters have passed the $24.5 million bond, residents are anxious to know what’s next.

On Nov. 20, the request for proposals for architects were sent out, according to Brenn Bybee, assistant city manager.

A bid deadline was set for Dec. 20. Bybee said the city is on task to get the residents what they want and voted for.

“We’re starting to create an RFP (request for proposals) for a general management contractor,” Bybee said. “The intent is to make sure there is early coordination between the architect and builder. We are looking to turn dirt this summer.”

Turning dirt will be on both projects, and the manager will coordinate both construction sites.

The bond is expected to be set into motion by resolution during the Jan. 8 city council meeting. It will then go to market a week or two later, according to Bybee.

The recreation center will have major upgrades to its workout center, the track will be brought up from the basement and locker rooms will be changed, as will the entrance to the center, among other things.

The library hall will have an auditorium that seats 500, a classroom/green room space, and an arts display space.

Some residents are wondering what will happen during the construction of the rec center and if they will have access to the building for physical recreation.

Karl Hirst, director of Parks and Recreation, said that is a priority. He indicated the city is arranging for one or two satellite locations with abbreviated schedules for workout areas.

Hirst also noted that residents will have some input into the design of the new build and recognizes there will be a big disruption in activities at the rec center during construction.

“We need a way for people to work out while there is construction,” Hirst said. “The buildout should take 18 months. We are hoping to accelerate that time.”

Hirst said they are trying to keep the pool open as much as they can. There is still some coordinating to do and to make sure that safety is first.

As for the new library hall, the architect and design is in place, according to Charlene Crozier, library director. Method Studio and architect Joe Smith are the contracted company and architect. Method Studio designed the new Utah Valley University arts building that is nearing completion.

“We will bid the project in March and break ground in summer,” Crozier said. “The library will remain open during that time.”

Crozier said the library hall addition is expected to open in summer of 2020.

Bybee said one of the most important reasons for putting everything on the fast lane is the inflation in the construction industry. Bybee said the second is to support residents’ desires.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for the support of the public,” Bybee said. “We want to make sure we’re living up to what we’ve promised.”

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter

@gpugmire

A 32-year veteran of covering news in Utah County, Genelle covers Provo, Orem, Faith/Religion, including the LDS Church and general assignments.

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