New library building contract awarded to low bidder
Geneva Public Library's Board of Trustees will award a contract to IHC Construction Companies LLC of Elgin to build a new library at 210 S. Sixth St. Trustees reviewed bids, vetted bidders, and selected IHC – the low bidder – at a special meeting June 7. Now that the contractor has been selected, the Library will obtain a building permit from the City of Geneva and establish a timeline for the project.
The new library project underwent review by city agencies earlier this year. Geneva City Council unanimously approved the Library's application to build a new facility at their April 2 meeting.
The plans were approved by Geneva Plan Commission unanimously March 8. The Historic Preservation Commission had considered the Library's proposal on Dec. 19, 2017 and provided recommendations to the Plan Commission regarding the character of the development, yard setbacks, landscape features, and building scale.
What will the new library feature? The 57,000-square-foot building will have 76 off-street parking spaces, drive-up convenience, a variety of meeting areas, a community art gallery, and outdoor reading spaces.
The Library will feature an enhanced children’s area with developmentally appropriate collections, play areas, and learning opportunities for children from birth through eighth grade.
Teens and adults will have access to a variety of library materials and enjoy spending time in the quiet reading and study spaces.
Additionally, Library service will be expanded to include new opportunities for collaborating, using technology, and experimenting in lab spaces.
What influenced the new building’s design? 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.