Aspen Drive Library expansion plans taking shape

Cook Memorial Public Library District officials are narrowing down their options for a possible expansion to the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.

This week, Cook Memorial Public Library District officials and representatives from the Chicago firm Product Architecture + Design reviewed concepts for an addition to the 20,000-square-foot building at 701 Aspen Drive.

The designs called for expansions ranging from 12,000 square feet to 18,000 square feet with a basement. Each option had the one-story library expanding at ground level, with the addition going on the northeast side of the existing building.

Each design would provide more space for adult, teen and youth patrons and their respective collections, library Director David Archer said.

Additional study rooms were included in the designs, too. The library has two now.

Preliminary estimates put the project's cost at $4 million to $8.5 million.

Board members provided feedback that will be used to shape the next round of designs. Updated cost estimates will be available at that time.

When the designs are done, the board will decide if it wants to build an expansion or wait, Archer said. That could happen in late spring or early summer, he said.

If the board opts to expand, the project will be funded with savings. Officials insist a ballot question requesting a tax-rate increase won't be necessary.

The Aspen Drive Library opened in 2010 as part of a $14 million construction project that included the expansion and renovation of the Cook Park Library in Libertyville.

Before it opened, Vernon Hills-area residents had to use a small branch library in their town or drive north to the Cook Park Library.

Investigating a possible library expansion was a priority in the district's latest strategic plan.

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