It's official: Moving date set for Lake Villa District Library
Lake Villa District Library officials aren't quite ready to pack their personal belongings, but that time is coming as a long-awaited move to a new home rapidly advances.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, the 39-year old building -- which has been expanded over the years -- at Grand Avenue and Deep Lake Road in Lake Villa will close for good on Monday, July 15. The library will reopen three weeks later at a new facility about a mile away at 140 N. Munn Road in Lindenhurst.
Ground was broken for the $18 million replacement on Crooked Lake in the fall of 2017, but because of weather-related construction delays, a publicly announced opening date was a moving target until last week.
"We would always say, 'The library of the future,'" said Nina Kenney, public relations/marketing coordinator. "Now it's real."
With the building essentially complete, shelving on site and furniture delivery set, the date was chosen. Besides tending to innumerable details involved with such a big move, the library staff has been spreading the word to patrons about the three-week closure.
The summer reading program theme, "Read on the Move," was designed to incorporate the pending shift. Book displays have been taken down, but as of Friday, it still appeared to be business as usual.
Early planning for a new facility began in 2013 with a needs assessment. In June 2016, the library board approved the purchase for $2.5 million of 29 acres along Munn Road. Because of dedicated wetlands, only 12 acres were buildable but it was considered the best of four options because of the setting and flexibility.
"It was definitely the preferred site," library Director Andy Lentine said of the location with a west-facing view of the lake.
Libraries no longer are just about books, she said, and there will be more seating, collaborative gathering spaces and quiet study areas. The new building will include three dedicated rooms for public meetings and community events.
Youth services will be consolidated on the lower level with computer areas, hands-on activities, places for parents to watch their kids, gaming and large program rooms, and an area dedicated for young adults.
"We built this building thinking about every single person who could walk through, from infants to senior citizens," she said.
The new building is 66,000 square feet on three floors and features an abundance of windows for natural light and views. Outside, nearly 2,000 trees have been planted and a walking path and terrace with seating installed.
The library serves about 40,000 residents in Lake Villa and Lindenhurst and parts of Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Beach and Antioch.
Revenues from a 1989 voter-approved increase in the operating fund were set aside for capital improvements, and the district saved more than $18 million to pay for the project. The old building and property will be offered for sale.