New library groundbreaking set for July 27
Geneva Public Library District will break ground for its new facility at 3 p.m., Friday, July 27, at the site, 227 S. Seventh St. (formerly known as 210 S. Sixth St.) The brief ceremony will include a welcome from Library Director Christine Lazaris, an overview of the new library project from Library Board President Robert Shiffler, and a community welcome from Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns. Refreshments will follow the ceremony and will be served at the current library at 127 James St.
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 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.
In June, the Library Board selected IHC Construction Companies LLC of Elgin to build the new library. Earlier this year city agencies reviewed and approved the new library plans. Geneva City Council unanimously approved the library's application to build a new facility at their April 2 meeting, and Geneva Plan Commission voted unanimously to approve the project 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.
The new library 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.
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 2017, and the second and third at 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 a prospective opening date in mid-year 2019.
Quiet reading area