The Helen Plum Memorial Library in Lombard fixed up its main and second floors in 2009 and 2010 after becoming an independent library district, but the basement didn't see any improvements.
A $225,615 project the library board recently approved now is shifting the focus to the library's lower level. Renovations, scheduled to get under way this week, include new accessible restrooms, a movable dividing wall and small kitchenette for the auditorium and a walled-in storage area under the stairway, Bob Harris, library director, said.
The downstairs restroom spaces will be completely redesigned to allow space for one accessible stall for men and one for women.
The dividing wall will allow two story time sessions to be hosted simultaneously in the auditorium instead of scattered across in rooms, Harris said. The change will help parents stay nearby even if they bring children to story time sessions meant for children of different ages.
"That frees up the story time room for other uses down the road," Harris said.
A kitchenette at the back of the auditorium is an amenity outside groups that rent the room frequently ask for, Harris said. The kitchenette will have a refrigerator and space for groups to make coffee and put out cookies or snacks, but other cooking appliances won't be provided because of health department regulations.
"This will really improve the use of that room, especially by outside groups," Harris said about the new kitchenette. "We're really using the space a lot better."
Crews from Stronghold Construction of Monee were set to begin demolition of the old restrooms Monday before moving on to other aspects of the renovation project. Work is expected to take about eight weeks and conclude by early October.