After approving a $12-million renovation project for the Deerfield Public Library in 2010, voters may know within a few weeks the location of its interim home.
During its regular meeting Feb. 1, the library board is hoping to make a final decision between two spaces in Deerfield, according to Executive Director Mary Pergander.
Though Pergander could not disclose the proposed sites' exact addresses, she said the library has been eying locations along the Lake Cook Road corridor.
“This is going to be like camping,” she said. “We're not doing anything fancy to (the temporary) site — we're doing the minimum requirement to make it safe and functional.”
Moreover, space, though limited, should not be a huge concern, as any interim site must meet a 20,000-square-foot minimum to hold items such as furniture, technology, and the library's extensive book and media collections, which 19,000 patrons borrowed from in 2011. Both proposed sites also have more parking spots.
“People will need to drive to a different location,” Pergander said, “but they'll be greeted by the same cheerful faces ... be able to browse the same selections [and] access the same online services.”
Like many libraries in suburban Cook County, Deerfield's 41-year-old institution has become “not just a source for books,” Board President Ken Abosch said.
“They're a much more important cultural hub for communities, where (people) can congregate,” Abosch said. “It fills a lot of needs for the community.”
The present, 32,500-square-foot library, which in late May will undergo a nearly year-long renovation, will increase by about 11,000 square feet. Construction crews will extend the east and the west ends of the building, build out each courtyard and remodel the interior of the library, including its bathrooms, according to Abbosch.
“With the remodeling, I don't think it will look like anyone’s library,” Pergander surmised. “It will be uniquely Deerfield."
Along with large meeting spaces, which can hold up to 150 people, Pergander said, the library will add small study rooms, which can hold up to four people, and midsize rooms for six to eight people.
Abosch called the renovation the bargain of the century. "It's a combination of things," he said. "The bonds, construction rates and the fact that the project, in total, is very reasonable for what we'll accomplish."
It Was a Pleasure to ... Read
One thing's for sure: The updated library will still have a welcoming fireplace to read beside, Abosch assured. “We'll actually have two fireplaces in the new building to give people the warm and cozy feeling that they currently enjoy," he said.
Whether the added hearths will soothe voters still upset from the 2010 referendum results — 60 percent voted yes supporting a property tax increase that will add roughly $90 to the tax bill of a home with a $500,000 market value — has yet to be felt.
“There's always going to be points of view that don't see eye to eye,” Abosch said. “If you go back to the results of the referendum — while there was a compelling outcome to move forward, there were also some individuals who had different perspectives about what the library needs. I think, in total, this is going to be very positive for the village.”