Plans for new library to go before city agencies this fall
View of new library from Sixth and Campbell
View of main entrance to new library
Architects have submitted Geneva Public Library’s official building project application to the City of Geneva for review, moving another step closer to constructing a new facility at 210 S. Sixth St.
The application to the city covers information and data related to the site plan, stormwater management, landscaping, traffic and parking studies and considerations, and more.
The application will be reviewed by City staff, Historic Preservation Commission, and Plan Commission, and each group will provide recommendations to the City Council that will likely vote on the project application in early 2018. Dates for meetings and public hearing will be determined by schedules established by the City of Geneva.
The 57,000-square-foot facility will offer community members at all ages and stages of life a library with space for additional technology to learn new skills, expanded collections, more programs, on-site parking, drive-up convenience, and many other resources and services.
“We are excited to make an investment in meeting the ongoing and future needs of library district residents,” said Library Board President Bob Shiffler. “Our goal is to provide a facility where the community can gather and that will support life-long learning in an ever-changing environment,” he said.
The building’s design unites many elements of the community, said Patrick Callahan, senior principal at Studio GC Architects: “The colors and texture of the material choice reflects the Fox Valley limestone prevalent in the area; the curvilinear ribbon that flows along the second floor was inspired by the cottonwood tree on-site and treehouses seen in residential neighborhoods; the old lumber mill and the Pope box company which cladded many of the former industrial buildings along Seventh Street were inspirations for the vertical expressions seen in the design; and the arch at the roof level that echoes the hull of the Viking ship now resting in Good Templar Park is meant to pay homage to the Swedish heritage of the area,” he explained.
This is the latest phase in a process undertaken more than two years ago when the Library Board evaluated the condition and operating costs of the current library building and determined how to best serve the library district in the future. The board met with members of the community and also conducted a needs assessment of the facility, concluding that it made the most fiscal sense to build a new library that offered the space and amenities the community needed. The board voted to go to referendum, and the community voted in favor of the building bond in April 2017.
Following the successful referendum, the board scheduled three community forums last summer that covered site development, building structure, materials, contemporary library issues, aesthetics, etc., and provided an opportunity for the members of the library district to offer their feedback for the architects and library board members to review.
“We greatly appreciate the members of our community who gave their time to be part of the planning process,” Shiffler said.
The total cost of the new library project is $21.8 million. The library will use $300,000 from existing reserves, and the remainder of the cost will be paid for with bonds – issued in three separate sales; the first for nearly $10 million, occurred in June, and the second and third at future dates to be determined – with a maximum maturity of 20 years. The estimated real estate tax increase for a home with a market value of $300,000 is approximately $98 per year.
The goal is to start construction of a new building in the spring of 2018, with a prospective opening date in mid-year 2019.
New library view from Seventh Street.