Renovated Prospect Heights library reopening June 5
The Prospect Heights Public Library's accelerated renovation schedule remains on track, with its grand reopening now scheduled for Saturday, June 5, to coincide with the start of this year's Summer Reading program.
Executive Director Alex Todd said the decision to try to meet that goal by closing public access to the interior of the library at 12 N. Elm St. in mid-September has paid off.
The original plan for the $5.4 million renovation of the 48-year-old building was a 34-week construction period. Under that arrangement, patrons would have maintained access to about two-thirds of the library at any given time.
But because patrons were already accustomed to the virtual services and curbside pickup of materials that had been in place for COVID-19 from March to July last year, it was thought feasible to close the building again to shave about six weeks and an estimated $125,000 to $150,000 from the construction process, Todd said.
The renovation aims for a better layout of the materials collection, and it includes such new areas as a cafe and a technologically equipped Makerspace for patrons of all ages to exercise their creativity.
The library's entrance will return to the east side of the building, as it was until the last renovation in 1991 moved it to the north.
All of the changes are intended to remain relevant for at least the next 20 to 25 years, Todd said.
Though the renovation anticipates patrons eventually will be able to gather together more than is possible today, the pandemic did result in an initial order of less furniture than had been originally intended, Todd said.