Naperville Library eyeing $1.5 million renovation at Nichols, Naper Boulevard locations

  • Naperville Library officials are eyeing a $1.5 million renovation project at the Nichols Library location as well as the Naper Boulevard location.

      Naperville Library officials are eyeing a $1.5 million renovation project at the Nichols Library location as well as the Naper Boulevard location. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/18/2022 4:55 PM

Naperville Public Library officials are ready to restart renovation projects at the Nichols and Naperville Boulevard locations that will cost more than $1.5 million over five years.

This week, Andy Dogan, a library design expert at Itasca-based Williams Architects, presented plans to the Naperville Library Board. First proposed in 2019 but delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the schedule calls for five phases of construction between 2022 and 2026, with work alternating each year between the two sites.

 

Over the last 13 years, Williams Architects completed numerous projects for all three Naperville Library locations. Because each site had its public areas renovated between 2014 and 2018, this multiyear plan focuses on staff areas.

"Before the pandemic hit, we were well on our way into starting to take a look at all the spaces we really haven't looked at in all of our time with the Naperville Public Library," Dogan said.

Dogan said the costs, which are allocated in the library's capital improvement budget, include an 8% escalator beyond 2022 to account for potential expense increases. Costs for architecture, interior design and construction managers are not included in the $1.5 million estimate.

Even though the Nichols location is 35 years old and the Naper Boulevard site is nearly 30 years old, some of the staff areas never have been renovated except for carpet replacement. Beyond reorganizing spaces and adding new furniture, Dogan said the goal is to standardize the workspaces in each building.

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Dogan said a contract for the first phase at Nichols Library, estimated to cost $320,750, will be presented for approval at the board's August or September meeting. Work is slated to begin in September or October and finish in December.

"The spaces at the Naperville Library facilities are pretty efficient," Dogan said. "You're able to dedicate more space to public needs than most libraries are.

"What we're seeing is you don't necessarily need more space," he said. "We can just optimize what you have by doing good remodeling projects using good furniture."

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