Building Update 2.1.18

During the January 9, 2018 Helen Plum Library Board meeting, Trustees agreed to move forward with a new building plan that complies with the Park District’s existing air rights. The concept, previously presented in September 2017, includes an East and West Pavilion joined by an enclosed above ground walkway connector.

During the past two months, Library and Park representatives discussed potential alternate designs, but the Library Board determined that the approved plan will allow the Library to immediately move forward with the Village approval process and begin the designing and drawing process.

The Library’s architects and construction managers are meeting regularly with staff and the Library Board to develop a final schematic design for the new facility that will define the functional, aesthetic and financial parameters of the design concept.

The Library’s construction team are also working closely with Village representatives to follow the process required for any new public building construction. The Village has provided a clear understanding of all necessary approvals and the construction team is confident that the Library will be able to deliver a design that is consistent with local ordinances. During the next few months, the Library’s construction team is preparing a construction schedule and the final project budget.

Once Village approvals are received, construction will begin on the West Pavilion. This allows the Library to temporarily relocate staff and materials into the new construction while the current building is demolished and reconstructed. This plan eliminates the additional costs for modifying and leasing an interim location and allows those funds to be spent on the permanent facility.

The Helen Plum Library will hold a number of community engagement meetings this spring to preview the design and features of the new building and solicit feedback. Anyone interested in receiving new building updates can sign up or visit the Next Chapter website at or follow Helen Plum Library on Facebook or Twitter.

  • Drive-through drop-off and pick-up services on the west side of the building.
  • Dedicated teen spaces containing Young Adult materials and areas for studying and gathering.
  • An expanded Youth Services area with early literacy space and a story time/program room.
  • A computer lab designed for technology training.
  • A creative studio space for makerspace and media production activities.
  • A new plaza deck to replace the leaking membrane on the exterior concrete plaza.
  • A quiet adult reading area overlooking the plaza deck and Lilacia Park.
  • A fire protection sprinkler system and complete ADA access.

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