Wauconda library awaits $2 million interior renovation

  • Wauconda resident Pat Hattula looks through books set on tables after they were rearranged to make room for a major renovation at the Wauconda Area Library. The project is going to cost about $2 million.

    Wauconda resident Pat Hattula looks through books set on tables after they were rearranged to make room for a major renovation at the Wauconda Area Library. The project is going to cost about $2 million. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Shelves are empty and books are being moved to make room for a major renovation at Wauconda Area Library. The project is going to cost about $2 million.

    Shelves are empty and books are being moved to make room for a major renovation at Wauconda Area Library. The project is going to cost about $2 million. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Books and shelves are being moved to make room for a major renovation at Wauconda Area Library. The effort is going to cost about $2 million.

    Books and shelves are being moved to make room for a major renovation at Wauconda Area Library. The effort is going to cost about $2 million. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/30/2014 4:25 PM
#WaucondaPublicLibrary ready to start $2 million renovation work

Although the heavy work won't begin until mid-November, preparation for a $2 million renovation of the Wauconda Area Library is underway.

Some books in the collection already have been moved to other areas in preparation for the hammering, sawing and drilling to come.

 

More significantly, the children's department on the lower level of the library, 801 N. Main St., will be closed starting Monday. A limited amount of books and other materials for young patrons will be located near the adult services reference desk.

Toys, computers, board books and seating for kids and their parents will be available in a quiet study room.

"It will no longer be quiet," library Director Tom Kern said.

The kids department should reopen Jan. 2, Kern said.

The project is expected to be completed by late February.

The library will remain open to patrons during the renovation except for a few days. One of the closures will occur Nov. 17, the day crews will prepare for interior demolition work.

The project will bring more study rooms, a new video game area, a larger section for teens and other improvements to the 17-year-old facility.

The goal is to bring more kids into the library, especially teens, library board member Gina Jefson said.

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"And (to) let them know the library is not just about books anymore," Jefson said.

Library officials are paying for the project with money from savings, a loan and a state grant. A tax-rate increase isn't necessary, officials have said.

The exterior of the library won't change, nor will the library's footprint expand. All of the work will be inside the building.

The $2 million price tag is about $250,000 greater than the estimate the media reported earlier this year. The latest sum includes construction, new carpet and furnishings, technology purchases and other costs.

The construction bid actually came in about $5,000 less than anticipated, officials said.

Patrons can learn more about the project and find updated information at the library's website, wauclib.org. The site includes a construction schedule, maps, artistic renderings and questions and answers about the undertaking.

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