15 Sep 2014
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Library Eyeing Grant to Help with New Construction

CLPL Board hires architect to explore building options.

Library Eyeing Grant to Help with New Construction

has hired Joe Huberty, architect with Engberg Anderson, to explore building options on the library’s current site and to assist in the preparation of an Illinois Public Library Construction Grant.

The CLPL Board is making this decision five years after Project Shoehorn, a short-term building expansion project completed in 2007, which was designed to give the library approximately five to eight years to resolve some of its long-term facility problems.

“Project  Shoehorn was a temporary solution to a long-term problem,” Library Board President John Engebretson said. “We are now five years into the five- to eight-year temporary fix that Shoehorn provided, and given that it will take us several years to achieve a long-term solution, we are running out of time. Many sections of the current facility have outlived their natural life span.

"In addition, the library facility is not cost efficient to heat or maintain. For this reason the Board is actively exploring the option of what can be done on the current site," Engebretson said. "The State Construction grant is a part of this and gives us a wonderful opportunity to address some of the challenges once again articulated during our 2011 Needs Assessment, many of which have been around for years.”

CLPL conducted a Needs Assessment in 2011 with input from more than 100 members of the community. The Needs Assessment examined the library’s current access, collection, facility, staffing and technology and identified a number of areas of weakness including a parking shortage, poor access into the building from the parking lot, and inadequate and inflexible space to provide the expected scope of public library service.

Using the results of the Needs Assessment, the Library Board and management staff met for a Strategic Planning Session in October of 2011. The objective was to identify actionable items and arrange them in priority order. Of the 55 items on the list, more than half of the items on the list related to the need for a “flexible, expanded facility that will be able to change as services change.”

The deadline for the grant is April 16, 2012. The State of Illinois has indicated that it will make a short list of grantees available in August 2012. If the grant is awarded, the library has one year from the date of the award to come up with the rest of the funds. If awarded, the grant could fund up to 35 percent of the cost of new construction for the library.

— Linda Price, CLPL

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