Tuesday, January 1, 2019 || By Igor Studenkov || @maywoodnews
Featured image: An architectural rendering of Broadview’s modernized library expansion. | Courtesy Broadview Public Library
The ongoing renovation of the Broadview Public Library, 2226 S. 16th Ave. in Broadview, could be done by the spring of this year, according to library officials.
Keisha Hester, the library district’s executive director, said that, as of the final week of December 2018, the $5.4 million project was “more than halfway complete.”
By the end of January, Hester said, patrons will see a major change in the way the library is set up, which is is necessary to complete the next phase.
“At the end of January, the library will shut down to the public for approximately two weeks in order to shift materials and offices to the lower level,” she said. “[After the move is complete], the renovation and completion of the addition on the first floor will begin.”
Hester explained that, once the project is over, the library will house a community room with a kitchenette, three meeting rooms patrons can reserve for free, a meeting room for the library district’s board of trustees and administrative offices.
Most notably, the lower level will feature a maker space, where patrons will be able to work with high tech equipment to do projects — all for free. Maker spaces have become increasingly popular additions in libraries across the country.
Hester said that the first floor will become “the heart of the library.” All of the books and other physical materials in the library’s collections will be located there. Children will be able to take advantage of the new children’s activity room. Hester added that there will be “eating for patrons to relax and fellowship with one another.”
Library district officials had previously said that they wanted to finish the renovations and have a grand opening by June 2019. Hester said that this is still the goal.
“The Library expects the project to wrap up between April and May 2019,” she said. “The exact date is unknown at this time. However, there will be a forthcoming announcement and ribbon-cutting when everything has wrapped up.’”
The original plan called for the library to renovate its existing facility, build a brand-new 3,000-square foot addition and renovate the facade to make sure the two parts would flow seamlessly between each other.
On November 2012, voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum allowing the library district to issue $4.1 million in bonds to help finance the project. VFP
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