• Paula Krapf

New library project is out to bid

The new library building project is out to bid for a general contractor, and bids will be opened Wednesday, May 30. The Library Board of Trustees is tentatively scheduled to review the bids at a special meeting June 7. The Library's Owner’s Rep and Board will select a general contractor, and after that, they'll develop a timeline for breaking ground, construction, etc.

The Geneva City Council unanimously approved the Library's application to build a new facility at 210 S. Sixth St. at their April 2 meeting.

The plans were reviewed and approved by other city agencies before reaching the Council: Geneva Plan Commission voted unanimously March 8 to approve the Library's application to build a new facility. The Historic Preservation Commission had considered the Library's proposal on Dec. 19 and provided recommendations to the Plan Commission regarding the character of the development, yard setbacks, landscape features, and building scale.

The proposed 57,000-square-foot building will have 76 off-street parking spaces.

What are some of the amenities of the new Library? The first floor features three meeting rooms that can be divided so the Library can host more than one event at a time. There will be a cafe area with vending machines provided as a convenience, but no cafe since downtown Geneva has several wonderful options already, and the Library encourages the community to patronize those local businesses. The middle ground area for middle school students will be expanded in the new facility. There will be a science lab, the children's collection, and indoor and outdoor programming space. The second floor will feature the adult collection, collaborative space, technology and lab spaces, a craft lab, outdoor reading space, and a quiet reading area.

The third floor will house most of the Library staff.

What informed the design of the new library? The building’s design unites many elements of the community, and was developed with feedback from both the public and the Historic Preservation Commission. The HPC encouraged architects to examine the history of the area as an industrial corridor and tie some of those elements into the design.

  • 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

  • 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

What will happen to the park on the site? Library officials are working with Park District officials to develop plans for a new playground at the corner of Sixth and Franklin. The Park District will also engage in a public process to seek input.

When will the new library open? The goal is a prospective opening date in mid-year 2019.

Where can I learn more? Visit for a comprehensive overview of the plans for the new library and regular updates on progress. Please contact us anytime at



127 James Street  | Geneva, IL 60134 | 630-232-0780 phone | 630-232-0881 fax

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