Cook Memorial Library board picks architect for $6.75 million Aspen Drive Library expansion

The Cook Memorial Public Library District board has selected an architect for the planned $6.75 million expansion of the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.

Trustees also have tentatively chosen a construction manager to oversee the actual building process - but contract details need to be solidified.

Trustees on Wednesday agreed to hire Product Architecture + Design, a Chicago firm, to design the expansion. The company created the preliminary designs for the project.

Library officials were particularly impressed by Product's work on the recent $14.4 million expansion at the Indian Trails Public Library in Wheeling.

"Product has a great reputation among public libraries in the Chicago area," Cook Memorial Director David Archer said. "We're looking forward to working with their team to create an appealing, expanded space at Aspen Drive."

The firm will be paid $489,792 for its efforts.

The library board also is close to a construction management deal with Featherstone Inc., a Downers Grove company. A contract hasn't been inked yet because of a fee-related question, Archer said.

A deal likely will be ready for a vote at the board's April 17 meeting, Archer said.

Featherstone has managed library construction projects in Wauconda and Schaumburg, as well as projects at the Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden, among other locations.

District officials are planning a 15,000-square-foot addition at Aspen Drive Library, 701 Aspen Drive.

Half the addition will be at the ground level of the 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 part of the plan.

The library opened in 2010 as a sister facility to the Cook Park Library in Libertyville. It was an immediate hit with residents in the southern part of the district, and expansion talk arose quickly.

Designs could be completed this spring and summer and construction could start in spring 2019.

Officials hope to have the expansion completed in fall 2019.

Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills turning 5 with a party

Aspen Library expansion likely won't start until 2019

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

  The Cook Memorial Public Library board is planning a $6.75 million expansion plan for the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills. The plan calls for a 15,000-square-foot addition to be completed in 2019. Steve Lundy/
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