Politics & Government

And the lowest bidder for Wichita’s new library is ...

This illustration shows the proposed coffee shop area in the new Wichita Public Library.
This illustration shows the proposed coffee shop area in the new Wichita Public Library. GLMV Architecture

Dondlinger Construction will likely be selected to build Wichita’s new $33 million-plus central library.

The company had the lowest of five bids recently received by the city, according to city documents.

In February, the Wichita City Council approved moving forward with the project, which will build the library at a new location across the street and to the south of Exploration Place, along Second and McLean.

Dondlinger’s bid of $20,296,000 was under the city’s original estimate of $23,713,635.

The council will vote on approving the bid at its meeting Tuesday.

The project will be financed with city bonds. The Wichita Public Library Foundation has raised some of the money for the project as part of its $8 million campaign.

The current central library, at 223 S. Main, was built in 1967.

The city approved initial plans for a new library about 10 years ago and bought the land for $3.69 million in 2008, just before the economy soured.

Recent Dondlinger projects include the new $60 million Southeast High School project and the $103 million rebuilding of the I-235 and Kellogg interchange.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, officials with the Wichita Public Library Foundation announced that they are more than halfway to their new fundraising goal, having secured a $3 million gift from the Dwane & Velma Wallace Foundation.

Kelsey Ryan: 316-269-6752, @kelsey_ryan

PROPOSED AMENITIES

▪ Increase the square footage of the library from 89,000 to more than 105,000

▪ Include meeting rooms that could function independently or together, with seating for 300 people

▪ More than 120 computers, up from 31 now

▪ Space for people to bring and charge their own devices

▪ Children’s courtyard and storytelling rooms

▪ Commons area

▪ Drive-through window to pick up books

▪ Free access to Ancestry.com in the research center

▪ Outdoor terrace

▪ Circle drive off McLean for public transit and buses to enter

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