A late 19th century era house located on property owned by the Carol Stream Public Library will be demolished early next year.
The home at 480 N. Kuhn Road was once owned by longtime Carol Stream residents Richard and Betty Lou Kammes, who sold their 7.5-acre property to the library in 2003, with the condition that they could live there until their deaths. Mr. Kammes died in 2008, and Mrs. Kammes died in November 2010.
The library initially purchased the land to use as space for a new library facility, but voters rejected those plans in three separate referendums. So officials have been exploring other possible uses for the land.
On Tuesday, the library board voted 7-0 to approve demolition of the house, along with a garage and barn on site.
John Bosman of Camosy Construction, the general contractor for the demolition project, said the house contains asbestos in the walls and ceilings, and abatement is estimated to cost $35,000.
Library Director Ann Kennedy said the house does contain some historical characteristics, such as original woodwork on the second floor, and a coal shoot and fieldstone walls in the basement. But she said the house has lost much of its historical character because of significant remodeling and reconfiguring.
An appraisal found the house to be worth $35,000.
Kennedy said demolishing the house would decrease the amount of property taxes the library pays since the land would be considered to be undeveloped.
And if the library ever decides to sell the land, it could be more valuable without the house on site, she said.
Kennedy also noted that if the house is there, officials at the Carol Stream Park District have said they wouldn't consider any intergovernmental partnership with the library for use of the land.
One possible arrangement would allow park district use of the land in exchange for the opening of a library satellite facility at the Simkus Recreation Center, but Kennedy said those discussions are still ongoing.
She said she's also talking with officials at the College of DuPage about a purchase of the property -- or at least part of the property. About five years ago, there were some discussions that the library could sell a parcel of the land to the college, which would use it for parking for its adjacent satellite campus at 500 N. Kuhn Road.
COD spokesman Joe Moore said college officials recently toured the library's property, but it's too early to say if the college is interested. If there is interest, officials would need to evaluate a valuation and purchase price, "but we are nowhere near that, as of yet," he said.
The library board voted 4-3 in July to hold onto the property and not sell it. Kennedy said officials wouldn't consider selling "until the market turns around and we get the right price."
Meanwhile, she said she'll continue to talk with COD, the park district and local school districts.
The cost of the house demolition is estimated to be $33,000, and $5,000 each for taking down the garage and barn. The total cost estimate for work on site is between $80,000 and $90,000, but those numbers could come down after competitive bidding, officials said.
Bidding for the work is expected in January, asbestos abatement in February, demolitions in March, and the site should be ready for use by April, Kennedy said.