Grant will help fund Bensenville Library addition

Daily Herald report
Updated 8/7/2015 4:43 PM

A $125,000 state grant will help Bensenville Public Library build an 875-square-foot addition to address the increasing need for early childhood learning programs, officials said Friday.

The new early childhood programming room will be built outside the library's roof line and be connected to the existing youth services area by a small hallway.


Bensenville was one of only two libraries this year to receive the maximum amount from the Illinois State Library Live and Learn Construction Grant program, Assistant Director David Sieffert said.

The grant money will go toward the expansion project that library officials estimate will cost between $400,000 and $550,000, Sieffert said. Bids for the project are due Wednesday and the library board is scheduled to review them Aug. 17.

If all goes well, officials hope to have the addition completed by the end of the year -- and the ability to meet that deadline will be part of the bid selection process.

The library already offers early childhood programming nearly every day of the week in its community room, Sieffert said. By creating a separate space, he said, the community room will be freed up for other library programs as well as meetings and programs for other organizations.

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The proposed addition also is expected to enhance the library's Garden of Knowledge by offering indoor/outdoor space for programs such as the Thursdays in the Garden summer series, and for outdoor learning experiences for all ages, officials said in a news release.

"The funds will help us create a wonderful learning space for the preschool children in our community, and along with their parents and caregivers, will help us nurture their kindergarten readiness," Director Jill Rodriguez said in the release.

This is not the first time the library has received a Live and Learn grant, Rodriguez said. In 1999 it used grant money to help build the Lifelong Learning Center with Bensenville Elementary District 2 and in 2009 it used grant funds to remodel bathrooms and bring its lobby up to accessibility codes.

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