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Library Gets a $125,000 State Construction Grant

Funds will help make the building more accessible.

Thehas been awarded a $125,000 construction grant to help make the building more handicapped accessible.

The funds will support the library's upcoming improvement project. It is maximum amount awarded under the Live and Learn Construction Grant provided by the Illinois Secretary of State's Office, according to a news release. 

The funds will allow for fully handicapped accessible restrooms on all floors as well as fully compliant stairways and public fire safety routes, according to the release.

"We are extremely gratified that the State of Illinois has agreed to help fund our Library Improvement Project at the highest level of funding available through this grant. This reinforces all our efforts to create the Library Deerfield deserves in a way that is responsible to our taxpayers," Ken Abosch, the library board president, said in the statement.

of a $12 million referendum in 2010 provided funding for the project, but library officials were committed to finding outside sources of money to help fund the effort, said Mary , the library's director.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us," she said.

The remodel and expansion of the current facility includes installing new HVAC equipment, reconfiguring and expanding interior by 10,000 sq. ft. to provide for more meeting space, new technology, and expanded space for the library’s growing collection of books, periodicals and audio visual media.

Improved infrastructure will also include a new parking lot containing a revised traffic pattern, nearby off-site staff parking, and improved landscaping and exterior lighting.

Construction is expected to start this June and finished by early summer 2013.

John Russillo March 07, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Every kid in middle school has a Kindle but we need a new $12M library. Beautiful.
RonnieTheLimoDriver March 07, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Oh, man. Don't get me started on this topic. When the plans first came forward, I said the same and this board essentially branded me a book hating monster. At least its cheaper than the Frank Gehry designs from the first go round.
John Russillo March 07, 2012 at 10:20 PM
It's like if the phone company decided to put a pay phone on every corner 10 years ago. Oops.
Violet Flemenbaum March 08, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I don't know about the $12 million price tag. However, my family does go to the library frequently, and no, we do not own a Kindle. We enjoy checking out books, movies and going to their story times. The library also provides computers with internet access for those in our community who don't have Kindles or computers at home.
DAD March 08, 2012 at 04:46 AM
I really like our library's current configuration and don't see the need for such an ambitious overhaul. As a Deerfield resident, I accept that I'll be helping to pay for the improvements and hope the final results will change my mind. As an Illinois resident, however, I'm wondering what the heck an insolvent state is doing writing a $175K check to one it's wealthiest suburbs for something like this.
RonnieTheLimoDriver March 08, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Don't worry, the state has not written any checks yet. They just committed money they don't have. It will take years to collect this 175k if we get it at all. The best part is here we are a year later, and we have nothing to show for it. Meanwhile we have been paying debt service on that bond for a year. We were sold that we needed to act fast to take advantage of low rates and inexpensive construction costs. Again, a year later, rates are still low (and they fed expects them to stay that way for at least 2 more years), and construction costs are still low. Yet all we have are some drawings and a supposed plan to move forward. Each of these various projects and tax increases by individual taxing bodies in Deerfield are not so bad. The problem is we have ALL our taxing bodies taking part in a giant money grab, and their timing could not have been worse. Despite what some posters have said in other threads, Deerfield is not insulated from the economy, except for maybe the top 1%. Since the expanded library is so important to some people, they should have sought private donations. In 10 yrs this library will be an empty space with some servers. As I have said in other posts, there will be no such thing as physical media so a place for storing said media will be irrelevant.
John Russillo March 08, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Forget about 10 years. When you build a $12M building you design it for 50 years or more. What will be the state of public libraries in 10, 20, or 30 years? Did anybody look at that? Meeting spaces are great and will still be needed, but a $12M meeting space?
Jon Hall March 08, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Releasing this information signals notice to the contractors on the project: "OK boys, get your change orders in order". Jack Hicks (RIP) and previous Library boards knew (partly from lessons learned with the Jewett Park Community Center renovation) that it's more cost effective to tear these old facilities down and build new ones in their place than attempting to redesign and renovate them. Jack's "Gehry" plan was too grandiose, but they knew they had to scrap the old library and replace it with new one. The cost overruns will be significant on a project like this one. Since the library has to move out to temporary quarters anyway, it only made sense to tear it down and build a new library. As it is now, the way "low bid" construction works, every time the contractors find plumbing, HVAC, or other old infrastructure that doesn't fit the new in the architect's design, guess who pays. This is how low bid becomes high bid and overruns, and a costly legal quicksand. This referendum was passed at least 18 months ago, and the delays to this point signal that the renovation plans are seriously flawed.
RB March 08, 2012 at 05:39 PM
So, just to understand. After all the increases in taxes to build this thing, a $125,000 grant from a broke state is needed to get all handicapped accessible bathrooms? The original design did not have that? That seems strange to me. This has been a fiasco from the start and everyone anticipating cost and time over-runs will be proven correct.
RonnieTheLimoDriver March 08, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Its my understanding that the design already included those items, but because of the way things work, since the facility was not yet built, they could, and did, seek state funding to cover this part of the work. None the less, the rest of your conclusions are accurate.

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