Renovated Prospect Heights library reopening June 5

  • The ongoing renovation of the Prospect Heights Public Library aims for a more efficient layout of the materials collection when the building reopens June 5.

    The ongoing renovation of the Prospect Heights Public Library aims for a more efficient layout of the materials collection when the building reopens June 5. Courtesy of Prospect Heights Public Library

  • A technologically equipped Makerspace will be a new area of the Prospect Heights Public Library when it reopens June 5.

    A technologically equipped Makerspace will be a new area of the Prospect Heights Public Library when it reopens June 5. Courtesy of Prospect Heights Public Library

  • The ongoing renovation of the Prospect Heights Public Library is making changes to the exterior and interior of the nearly 50-year-old building at 12 N. Elm St.

    The ongoing renovation of the Prospect Heights Public Library is making changes to the exterior and interior of the nearly 50-year-old building at 12 N. Elm St. Courtesy of Prospect Heights Public Library

  • Areas of the Prospect Heights Public Library renovation were already nearing completion this month.

    Areas of the Prospect Heights Public Library renovation were already nearing completion this month. Courtesy of Prospect Heights Public Library

  • The Prospect Heights Public Library's renovation reflects more than six months of progress so far.

    The Prospect Heights Public Library's renovation reflects more than six months of progress so far. Courtesy of Prospect Heights Public Library

  • Only a few weeks of work remain on the renovation of the Prospect Heights Public Library that began in early October, following the closing of public access to the building at 12 N. Elm St. in mid-September.

    Only a few weeks of work remain on the renovation of the Prospect Heights Public Library that began in early October, following the closing of public access to the building at 12 N. Elm St. in mid-September. Courtesy of Prospect Heights Public Library

 
 
Updated 4/23/2021 7:16 PM

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.

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