Work to begin soon on Aspen Drive Library expansion

Construction crews soon will begin preliminary work ahead of a $6.8 million addition to the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills.

Workers will use subterranean steel piles to shore up the foundation and footing of the existing building at 701 Aspen Drive so that the basement of the addition can be built.

That work could begin within a couple of weeks, said David Archer, director of the Cook Memorial Public Library District.

And once the ground is ready, building should begin in earnest, Archer said. A public groundbreaking ceremony likely will be held in April.

"I'm excited about it," Archer said. "You see something on paper and work on a design, but it's another thing to see those designs on paper become real."

Library leaders held an open house Thursday night to show off the designs for the expansion.

In the planning stages for more than three years, a 15,000-square-foot addition is coming to the library. The facility opened in 2010 as a sister facility to the Cook Park Library in downtown Libertyville.

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

New study rooms, a large conference room, an open area for teens and more space for young patrons and their parents are among the amenities that will be built.

Additionally, there will be a new space for public computers in the center of the building and an enclosed quiet room featuring a fireplace and couches.

Some surface work on the construction site already has happened, Archer said. Some trees have been removed and silt fencing has been erected.

Libertyville resident Jim Jelke was among the visitors who checked out the colorful architectural renderings Thursday night at the library.

The chairman of the Friends of Cook Memorial Public Library District volunteer group, he's eager to see the addition built.

"(We) are looking forward to using some storage room in the basement to prepare for our annual book sales," Jelke said.

Archer said a camera mounted on a nearby building will take photos of the construction, and those pictures will be edited into a time-lapse video that will be viewable on the district's website.

To pay for the project, officials plan to use about $2.4 million from savings and borrow about $4.4 million.

The expansion should be completed in the fall.

You can learn more about the expansion plans at

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

Lots of color, lots of sunlight Designers have bright vision for library expansion

Aspen expansion, inflation drive increase in Cook Memorial Library budget

Learn about Aspen Drive Library expansion plan at open house Thursday

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