Already more than a year behind schedule, the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center will be even later than that, a city official said.
Originally set for completion in April 2012, the new estimated completion date will be sometime after May of this year, said Phil Bobel, assistant director of public works.
It then will take two to three months of staff work to prepare the interior before the library's public opening, he said.
Bobel said he would have a firmer completion estimate for the 56,000-square-foot center when he reports to the City Council Feb. 11, but that there likely will be "more slippage" beyond the latest estimate of May 2013.
He blamed most of the delay on mismanagement by the general contractor, Flintco Pacific.
"On balance we believe most of this delay is caused by the contractor's inability to coordinate their subs, some poor-performing subs, but largely a lack of coordination among the subs that the general contractor should be doing," Bobel said.
"That's caused numerous problems, requiring re-work, fixes, changes, back and forth, putting stuff in, pulling stuff out, redoing and we believe that really all that is the general contractor's fault and responsibility.
"They have a different opinion. They point to omissions and problems with the plans and specifications and there are a few of those," Bobel acknowledged.
A representative from Flintco in Roseville said he would relay queries to the company's corporate office in Tulsa, Okla.
The new $41 million library and community center replaces the 9,478-square-foot old Mitchell Park Library and the 10,400-square-foot Mitchell Park Community Center, both built in 1967.
The new complex on Middlefield Road is to feature 41,000 square feet of library space, including a children's room, separate teen room, computer training room, 100-person program room and quiet reading areas. It also includes 15,000 square feet of community center space built around a courtyard and including an event room with a kitchen suitable for rental; flexible classrooms, a game room and a small cafe.
The $41 million price tag is the largest component of a $76 million bond passed by voters in 2008.
Bobel explained the delay Thursday at a meeting of the Library Advisory Commission, and confirmed his remarks this morning in a phone interview with Palo Alto Online.