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Article updated: 1/9/2013 2:50 PM

Arlington Heights library renovations ahead of schedule

A new magazine and newspaper center is part of the $2.8 million renovations.

A new magazine and newspaper center is part of the $2.8 million renovations.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Officials say the project is ahead of schedule with the new computer lab already in use.

Officials say the project is ahead of schedule with the new computer lab already in use.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

A historical mural hangs outside the genealogy room.

A historical mural hangs outside the genealogy room.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

A reception area lounge outside the Hendrickson Room is part of renovations at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

A reception area lounge outside the Hendrickson Room is part of renovations at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

A living room area with a fireplace is under way.

A living room area with a fireplace is under way.

 

Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

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Major interior renovations at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library are ahead of schedule and under budget, officials said.

The $2.8 million project will include new "marketplace" with a vending cafe and the most popular books on display; a new teen center; a remodeled computer assistance area; more small meeting rooms; and a "living room" with lounge seating and a fireplace, as well as a new conference room, said Brian Shepard, director of operations.

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All work is expected to be completed in late March or early April, but some parts of the project are already done.

A new digital computer studio is open for people to work with multimedia editing software and several renovated conference rooms are already available for meeting space.

"What we're trying to do is build a library more suited to how people use libraries today," Shepard said. "Everything will be more convenient and easy to use."

The library has stayed open through all renovations, which Shepard said may have caused minor issues for people, but it will be worth it when the project is completed.

The library saved for the project over many years and was able to do it without raising its property tax levy.

Parts of the project, such as the new fireplace and computers were funded by the Friends of the Library organization.

The interior renovation project was approved by the library board over the summer in an effort to make the library more of an open, welcoming and a "community hub," officials said at the time.

More information about the renovations can be found at http://ahml.info/renovation.

This is the first major renovation for the Arlington Heights Memorial Library since the 1990s.

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