$187M library project largest for newly hired director

Dayton Metro Library interviewed six candidates before hiring Tom Marchesano of Michigan as director of construction for its $187 million building project. Other public libraries that worked with Marchesano described him as a man with integrity, a team player, someone who gets projects done on time and on budget.

“Tom really gets it. You know that with him the project will be a team effort and it will be a team that works together,” Cecilia Ann Marlow, the former assistant library director of Bloomfield Twp. Public Library and the current director of Cromaine District Library in Hartland, both in Michigan. She has worked with Marchesano on projects at both locations.

Marchesano has overseen the design and construction of libraries, schools, museums, senior and recreation centers and other projects. As director for library construction for Dayton Metro, he will manage and coordinate the design and construction of new and temporary library facilities.

“We interviewed other people who also had the technical skills and the experience working with contractors,” Tim Kambitsch, director of Dayton Metro said. “It was his ability to communicate that made me feel comfortable having him on board.”

Marchesano will initiate and manage the selection of professional and construction management services and other contractors for Dayton Metro.

He has been an owner representative on four greater Detroit-area libraries. Two are on hold due to the economy and two have been completed. The scope of the Dayton project is the largest library Marchesano has taken on.

“That makes Dayton a challenge,” Marchesano said. “I’m making Dayton my home for the next four to five years. I’m looking forward to immersing myself in this building project and getting to know Dayton’s history and its residents.”

The Bloomfield library involved a $27 million building renovation, with four additions. The new space was dedicated in 2007. The library features group meeting spaces, training areas and a history room, elements found in most modern libraries, Marchesano said.

“Instead of building in four phases it took us eight or nine, but that’s not a reflection on anyone’s work. We kept the library open through the entire construction project. That was a priority,” Marlow said.

Marlow retired from Bloomfield, then took a job as director of Cromaine District Library, which had already been working on development of a renovation of a historic library. That project is currently on hold due to the economy.

“Tom was a candidate for owner representative on the Cromaine project, but we didn’t just interview him. We did a thorough vetting of several candidates,” Marlow said. “He brought experience and a knowledge of architecture to the job. He understands how important a library’s relationship with a community is and the importance of sustaining that.”

Marchesano also worked on a library project in Southfield, Mich.

The $37 million, three story, Southfield Michigan Public Library is a 106,132 square foot structure that replaced a 30-year old Civic Center. The library includes a cafe, a two-story children’s room that looks like a space ship, a treehouse and a more than life-sized statue of the Cat in-the-Hat. The library, serving 400 patrons a day, has 192 public computers.

“Tom speaks the language of builders and architects, a language librarians don’t speak,” Dave Ewick, Southfield’s city librarian said.

That doesn’t mean all went smoothly. Ewick said that there was a problem with installation of terrazzo flooring, that extended after the library was completed.

“Tom stayed for the long hall. He worked with the company and got it straightened out, fixed,” Ewick said. “He has a lot of integrity and he’s going to do his best. He’s an expert.”

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