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updated: 6/20/2018 10:10 AM

Aspen Drive Library expansion plans call for lots of color, sunlight

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  • Architect Tiffany Nash talks about the proposed elements of the new children's department at the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills on Tuesday during a Cook Memorial Public Library District board meeting.

      Architect Tiffany Nash talks about the proposed elements of the new children's department at the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills on Tuesday during a Cook Memorial Public Library District board meeting.
    Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

  • An architect's vision of the proposed children's department at the soon-to-be-expanded Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.

    An architect's vision of the proposed children's department at the soon-to-be-expanded Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.
    Courtesy of Product Architecture + Design

  • An architect's rendering of the soon-to-be-expanded Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills, from the southeast.

    An architect's rendering of the soon-to-be-expanded Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills, from the southeast.
    Courtesy of Product Architecture + Design

  • An architect's vision of a proposed quiet space inside the soon-to-be-expanded Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.

    An architect's vision of a proposed quiet space inside the soon-to-be-expanded Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.
    Courtesy of the Cook Memorial Public Library District

  • A $6.75 million expansion is planned for the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.

      A $6.75 million expansion is planned for the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer, 2015

 
 

Architects publicly unveiled their bright vision for the soon-to-be-expanded Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills on Tuesday.

Among the highlights from the Product Architecture + Design team's presentation to the Cook Memorial Public Library District board were digital images of a children's department featuring multicolored walls and furniture, as well as ceiling-based light fixtures that would vary in color depending on the collections beneath them.

"We just wanted to have a more youthful appearance than the rest of the building," architect Tiffany Nash said.

A $6.75 million, 15,000- square-foot expansion is planned for the 8-year-old library at 701 Aspen Drive. The library is a sister facility of the Cook Park Library in Libertyville.

Half the addition will be at the ground level of the current 20,000-square-foot building, and the other half will be a basement that, for now, will be left unfinished and used for storage.

Funding will come from savings, a loan and other fundraising efforts. A tax increase isn't needed.

Nash and fellow architect Dan Pohrte showed off a floor plan that includes new study rooms, a large conference room, an open area for teens and dramatically more space for young patrons and their parents.

There will be a new space for public computers, scanners and printers in the center of the building and an enclosed quiet room featuring a fireplace, couches and work spaces.

Nash and Pohrte also showed off drawings of the expanded building's rear exterior -- which would consist nearly entirely of large glass panels to let in plenty of natural light and could feature colored, vertical fins.

Library Director David Archer revealed the project's estimated price tag has decreased to about $6.2 million, although several alternate elements could bring the cost closer to the original total.

Because of the anticipated savings, library trustees on Tuesday debated spending more than $493,000 to add a second floor to the building -- but they quickly opted against that change.

"For a half-million dollars, there are a lot more meaningful projects we can do," board member Nathan Johnson said.

Construction could start in spring 2019. Officials hope to have the expansion completed in fall 2019.

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