SHUTESBURY — On June 11, Construction Dynamics, located in Clinton, was chosen as general contractor for the Shutesbury library project. The company’s winning bid was $6.386 million.

Inflation and supply chain issues pushed the bids higher than hoped for. Library Director Mary Anne Antonellis suggested the one alternate sent out with the bid package, a ceramic tile floor in part of the building, at a quoted cost of $55,000, not be included.

“We are already over budget,” Antonellis said. “We haven’t even started yet. I think that we just have to let that go for now … We don’t know what other costs might come down the line and we already need to fundraise to meet the project costs. So I can’t in good conscience add another $55,000 to that.”

The conversation had an undercurrent of excitement. Owners Project Manager Neil Joyce, officials of the Massachusetts Small Library Pilot Program, the Select Board and Library Building Committee went over the bids received and the background of each bidder.

A total of five bids were received for the project.

Under Massachusetts General Law for procurement, the lowest bid must be accepted. The bids ranged from $6.386 million to $7.37 million. Reference checks were performed for the three lowest bidders, including Kronenberger & Sons, a contractor in Middletown, Connecticut who bid $6.688 million for the project and $36,345 for the ceramic floor alternate. Keiter Corporation, operating out of Florence, was the third lowest bidder at $6,829,969 and $26,070 for the ceramic floor alternative.

Joyce spoke highly of Construction Dynamics. “Their work was rated to be excellent. They’re very much team players.”

Joyce checked the references of the top three bidders. David Larson, a principal of Warner Larson Landscape Architects, also spoke highly of Construction Dynamics. Joyce said, “They feel very fortunate to have them as a [general contractor] on their projects.”

Construction Dynamics is a large company. According to the information Joyce submitted to town officials, the company has 12 projects in progress, totaling $14.1 million in obligations. The company completed 11 projects including recreational facilities, bank renovations, interior rehabs and water and sewer upgrades. The references Joyce contacted worked with the company on several multi-million dollar projects.

Joyce also offered his own brief description of Construction Dynamics. “Excellent Contractor — great attention to detail, good site supervision, very fair on contract changes. Overall a superior project.”

Joyce voiced no objections about the company. Selectboard Chair Rita Farrell asked about the company’s legal standing, whether it has ever been sued or violated prevailing wage laws.

“I believe they are required to mention any upcoming litigation,” Joyce said. “I can’t say a bad thing about them.”

Building committee member Stephen Dalmus wondered if the company was price gouging on the alternate, the ceramic floor. Construction Dynamics would charge $55,000 for the add on while the other low bidders would complete that work for $36,345 or $26,070. A lighting fixture will also have to wait for additional funding.

Antonellis sent out an email on June 5 that a low bid of $6.4 million will require an additional $232,000 in funds more than is currently in hand. The Selectboard approved $60,840 in new funding from the American Rescue Plan Act federal pandemic era grant money, currently in town coffers, and $60,823 in state-directed funds secured by state Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). No additional tax burden is anticipated for residents.

Kate Cell, chair of the Board of Trustees of the M.N. Spear Memorial Library, told residents the Friends of the Library raised $251,560 in donations since the 2022 vote at Annual Town Meeting authorized local funds for the project. Cell said that’s about $163 donated per year by every household in town.

Cell thanked residents, town officials and members of the Small Library Pilot Program of the commonwealth, town committees, Antonellis and the donors.

“It took the efforts of many people over many years to bring us to this point,” Cell said. “The trustees thank first and foremost the people of Shutesbury, who put their faith in a new Small Library Pilot Project and approved a bond measure at the Town Meeting in 2022.”

Antonellis conveyed that site preparations are underway. The good news is that no per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination has been found in the water from the well drilled for the new library.

“Shutesbury residents and town officials have been working for nearly 30 years to provide an adequate library facility,” Antonellis said. “Next month, building will begin, and by 2025 our new library will be ready to welcome patrons.”