Arlington Heights library's Makerplace set to open in a month
Renovations are almost complete in Arlignton Heights
Beset by construction delays and the pandemic, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's new Makerplace is scheduled to finally open a month from now, officials said this week.
Renovations are in the final stages for the 8,000-square-foot building at 112 N. Belmont Ave. -- the brick structure that was the original 1952 home to the library and will come full circle this fall as a $1.4 million do-it-yourself collaborative workspace.
The opening date has been pushed back a few times since the library acquired the building from the village in the summer of 2019, with the most recent delays attributed to complexities with the lower-level sewing room ceiling.
Officials said a modified version of a drop ceiling was devised to accommodate utilities that would have otherwise reduced the height significantly.
"We added a lot of pipes and vents to it for the kitchen above. And we also need to meet the current code," said Natalie Clemens of Williams Architects, the Itasca-based firm hired by the library to design the project. "Getting all the sprinklers and everything we need there for the cost we agreed to was a challenge, but we did do it."
Much of the work throughout the two-story space has been done, from the installation of new vinyl flooring to application of fresh coats of paint. Trucks delivered appliances that are now being installed in the commercial-grade kitchen, including two French door convection ovens, a six-burner gas range, blast chiller, three-compartment sink, refrigerator and freezer. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library Foundation is paying for the equipment.
Furniture has begun to arrive, but the final pieces can't go into place until inspections are complete.
"The construction will be done," library Executive Director Mike Driskell told library board members this week. "The issue for us is really the staging to get everything populated in there. Until final inspection, we can't cover up outlets. We can't cover up anything that they need to get to."
Library officials have scheduled a public grand opening event for Sunday, Sept. 19, with other events and tours planned for members of the foundation, Friends of the Library, Chamber of Commerce, and neighbors in the weeks preceding and following.