The site of a former Elk Grove Village library will remain as open space now that the 1960s-era building has been demolished.
The building at 901 Brantwood Ave. served as the village's second library and at one time was the fire department administration headquarters.
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Village officials decided late last year the structure should be torn down after it had sat vacant for nearly four years. The field will be graded and restored to grass this spring and turned over by the village to the park district, which will maintain the property as open space.
"It had mold. It had asbestos. It should never have been there to start with," said Mayor Craig Johnson, noting the former building's location was in a floodplain and just 30 feet from Salt Creek.
The two-story library flooded during heavy storms in the 1970s and underwent a major flood in 1987, leaving the library under 3 feet of water and wiping out a third of the book collection, said Library Director Lee Maternowski.
That flood prompted discussion among officials at the time about building a new library, and in 1990, the current library opened at 1001 Wellington Ave.
After the library moved out, the fire department moved in, and later the Northwest Suburban Municipal Joint Action Water Agency.
The building was demolished in December, following the village board's approval in November of a $146,250 contract with Robinette Demolition Inc. of Oakbrook Terrace for remediation of asbestos and removal and disposal of the building.
Village officials say they will bid a separate contract to have the field graded and restored to grass.
Mike Brotman, the park district's executive director, said the district will maintain the land but has no plans to put any structures in place.
"If in three years or longer anything were to happen to that land, it probably would be for passive recreation, like volleyball. Maybe we'll use it from time to time for whiffle ball."
The property is adjacent to Morton Park and across the street from Jaycee Park.
The village's first library opened in 1959 inside a house at 38 Forest Lane. The library moved to the Brantwood Avenue location in 1966.