Cook Memorial board approves $6.75 million expansion for Aspen Drive Library

Nearly eight years after the Aspen Drive Library opened to rave reviews in Vernon Hills, the Cook Memorial Public Library District board on Tuesday voted to move ahead with expansion plans.

"What an honor and a privilege it is to be able to serve the public by expanding the Aspen Library to meet the needs of our constituents," board President Bonnie Quirke said following Tuesday's unanimous vote.

The district's proposal calls for a 15,000-square-foot addition on the northeast side of the existing 20,000-square-foot building at 701 Aspen Drive.

Half the addition will be at ground level, and the other half will be a basement that, for now, will be unfinished and used for storage.

Officials have said funding will come from savings, a loan and other fundraising efforts - but not a tax increase.

The Aspen Drive Library opened in 2010 as a sister facility to the Cook Park Library in Libertyville. It was part of a $14 million construction project that also included the expansion and renovation of the Cook Park building.

Aspen was an immediate hit with Vernon Hills-area residents. On many days, finding an open table or seat can be a challenge - especially in the children's department.

A Chicago firm called Product Architecture + Design has been working on the project. Officials are planning to move the children's department into the addition, which will free up space in the existing building for more seating, study rooms and other amenities.

Designs could be completed this spring and summer and construction could start in spring 2019. It could be ready for patrons in fall 2019.

Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills turning 5 with a party

Aspen Drive Library expansion plans taking shape

Aspen Library expansion likely won't start until 2019

Aspen Drive Library expansion plan coming to a vote

  The Cook Memorial Public Library board on Tuesday approved plans for a $6.75 million expansion to the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills. Steve Lundy/
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