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updated: 1/9/2014 11:43 AM

Glen Ellyn Library getting state grant for flood repairs

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  • Jesse White

      Jesse White

  • The Glen Ellyn Public Library's subbasement was under five feet of water during last April's floods. The library will receive a state grant Monday to help with the cost of repairs and preventive work.

      The Glen Ellyn Public Library's subbasement was under five feet of water during last April's floods. The library will receive a state grant Monday to help with the cost of repairs and preventive work.
    Courtesy of Glen Ellyn Public Library

  • Glen Ellyn Public Library staff members provided curbside service at the building's entrance last April while crews cleaned up from flooding that caused more than $350,000 damage.

      Glen Ellyn Public Library staff members provided curbside service at the building's entrance last April while crews cleaned up from flooding that caused more than $350,000 damage.
    Courtesy of Glen Ellyn Public Library

 
 

The Glen Ellyn Public Library, in the final stages of flood repair and implementation of preventive measures stemming from an April 2013 storm, is getting a funding boost for the project.

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White will visit Glen Ellyn on Monday to present the library with an Illinois Public Library Construction Act Grant.

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The grant provides matching funding to support design and new construction, remodeling, renovation or maintenance of public libraries. The state has allotted $157,469 for the library to be put toward a project expected to cost close to $545,000. The final grant amount will depend on the final cost of the project.

The library at 400 Duane St. sustained more than $350,000 in flood damage last spring and officials have since spent more than $200,000 on flood prevention measures.

The library became eligible for the grant after heavy rains in mid-April caused the building's subbasement to flood.

The mechanical room, which houses two boilers that heat the building, as well as two airhandlers, the water heater, sump pumps and control systems, took on five feet of water.

Operations of bathrooms, elevators and the heating system effectively were shut down; the elevator pits filled with water; and the building was closed to the public for nine days.

Some elements of the mechanical systems had to be rebuilt, others had component pieces replaced and still others, like the boilers, were completely replaced.

New insulation was put into the airhandlers, and the electrical and phone systems were inspected.

The library also did preventive work that included the creation of drainage swales on the north and east side of the building to take stormwater out.

The next step is upgrading the sump pumps inside the building, replacing them with newer and larger pumps.

The last measure just went out to bid, with an expected March completion.

"We're trying to cover all our bases so water would go into the parking lot or drain on to Duane Street, rather than coming into the building," library Director Dawn Bussey said.

Officials said insurance will pay for about $100,000 of the repairs and the state grant will pay for another chunk of the project. Bussey said the library also has applied for additional funding from FEMA.

Money for the remainder of the project will come from the library's reserve fund.

"We had sufficient funds to cover the whole thing had we not received help, but of course we're trying to use that money to improve and serve the public," Bussey said.

"Certainly, it is nice to recoup some of that money through the state grant. A great big thank you to the state librarian."

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