Plans to build an outdoor reading garden at the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills are progressing, officials said Friday.
Proposed for open space on the east side of the building near the children's department, the garden would have tables, chairs and benches for patrons who want to read or meet outside, said Cook Memorial Public Library District Director Stephen Kershner.
"People want to be able to go out and study," he said.
At a proposed 7,200 square feet, it would have enough space for outdoor programs, musical performances and story time sessions, Kershner said.
"It would really be a multipurpose, multifunction garden," he said.
An architect spoke with the Cook Memorial board's building and grounds committee this week about the proposal, which was part of the initial plan for the new library but put on hold before construction began in 2009.
The committee had questions about the plan and didn't commit to it.
The group will meet again in June. It could forward a recommendation on the proposal to the full board in July, Kershner said.
The project tentatively has a $100,000 budget. That's far less than the original plan, which called for a larger garden that would've had a concrete foundation for potential building expansion.
Expanding there would require destroying the reading garden, however, an idea Kershner opposes as inefficient.
"There's plenty of other areas around the building where you can expand in the future," he said.
Plans also call for sidewalks that would connect to the Vernon Hills Park District's Sullivan Community Center, which is south of the library, and to a proposed supportive-living facility that would be located nearby.
The center and the park district would help pay for the cost of the paths, Kershner said.