Aspen Drive Library expansion is going up fast, and patrons are excited

A $6.8 million expansion that will nearly double the size of the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills is well underway - and patron Nichelle Walford is excited.

When Walford arrived at the library Thursday morning, she was surprised to see the foundation for the 15,000-square-foot addition is finished and cinder block walls rising in the construction zone.

"It's going real fast," said Walford, of Vernon Hills.

Part of the Libertyville-based Cook Memorial Public Library District, the library has operated at 701 Aspen Drive since 2010. This is the first addition to the 20,000-square-foot structure.

Half the addition will be at ground level. 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 and an enclosed quiet room featuring a fireplace and couches are among the planned amenities.

An open area for teens is coming, too, as is much more space for young patrons.

"It's a small play area," Walford said of the current kids section. "It's good to have a bigger area for them."

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

Work began in February. The recent rains have slowed the project a little, library Director David Archer said, but a fall completion is still planned.

The cinder block walls now visible through the glass walls on the library's east side eventually will surround an elevator shaft, bathrooms and a stairway.

"With the (installation) of steel scheduled to begin later in May, the building will really start to take shape," Archer said.

Like Walford, library patron Derek Van Deusen is a fan of the project.

"I'm all for it," the Vernon Hills resident said. "Expanding it for the kids is nice, too."

Learn more about the expansion at

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Work to begin soon on Aspen Drive Library expansion

  A $6.8 million expansion is underway at the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills. New study rooms, a large conference room and an enclosed quiet room are among the planned amenities. Russell Lissau/
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