Lisle Library District considers major renovation

  • The Lisle Library District is exploring a proposed $7.7 million renovation of its building at 777 Front St. One proposed change is to move the main entrance from the east side of the building to the north side, with an additional south entryway near a new stairwell and elevator.

    The Lisle Library District is exploring a proposed $7.7 million renovation of its building at 777 Front St. One proposed change is to move the main entrance from the east side of the building to the north side, with an additional south entryway near a new stairwell and elevator. Daily Herald file photo

 
By Scott Morgan
smorgan@dailyherald.com
Updated 4/23/2021 5:35 PM

The Lisle Library District is considering a major renovation of its two-story building at 777 Front St.

The library's board of trustees met in a three-hour online meeting this week to discuss the initial concept design phase of the project. The overall renovation is budgeted around $7.7 million, with an estimated completion of early 2023.

 

"The proposal really focuses the improvements on the public areas of the library," said Don McKay with Chicago-based Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects. "This is an effective way to control the budget of the project by reutilizing as much of the existing library building as we can."

One major change is the relocation of the main entrance away from the building's east side. Instead, the building's major entryway would be centralized on the north side facing Front Street, echoing the building's original 1981 design.

"It's common library design that when you walk in the front door, you have minimum travel distance into where you want to go," McKay said.

A second centralized entry would be built on the building's south side, leading directly to a new stairwell and additional elevator connecting both floors of the library. The south entry would also connect to a larger library parking lot.

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According to McKay, the centralized entrance realignments would allow for a main floor lobby combining the main service desk with building security.

Youth services (the children's area) would increase by 60% by relocating it to the first floor, while a dedicated teen area is also planned nearby.

"Youth services is currently on the second floor," McKay said. "It's very difficult to get to if you're a parent coming in with kids and strollers."

The nonfiction section for adults would be relocated to the upper floor. A single public restroom would also be added to the second floor, while two new family restrooms would be constructed near youth services.

At least two new meeting rooms would be added inside, while an outdoor event space is being proposed for the east side of the building.

A one-way traffic flow realignment from the east parking lot to the north lot would allow for a drive-up window on the building's north side. Designers are also exploring expanding the north parking lot to the west.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Plans also call for updating technology in the building to allow for increased Wi-Fi access, more efficient lighting, and automated checkout. The library was previously renovated in 2008.

Library Director Tatiana Weinstein said the designs have not been finalized.

"The board will engage in more detailed discussions once in the schematic phase of design," Weinstein said in a statement. "Residents can expect a comprehensive community awareness initiative to encourage more participation in renovation discussions."

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