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 Part II: 1980 - Present

Library Renovation and Remodeling Project

RENOVATION AND REMODELING PROJECT
Updating the Library - Meeting New Needs

Click here for Questions and Answers about the Project

The Wauconda Area Library trustees approved at their February 10 meeting a $1.75 million master plan for updating the existing facility’s interior and making improvements.  The current facility was built in 1997 and is showing its age not only in wear and tear but in how it serves the community.  This renovation project will not only bring the library’s interior up to date and make it look new again, but will set the stage for providing outstanding library services for the Wauconda Area community well into the future.  The library's exterior has been well maintained and will not be included in this project.

The library will use its special reserve funds and a $1.2 million loan to fund the renovation and remodeling project scheduled to begin later this year.  There will be no expansion in the size of the building, and no special bond issued that would result in a tax increase.  In fact, the existing 20-year building bond from 1996 will expire in 2015, and library district residents will see a decrease in their tax bills. 

Briefly, this building project will accomplish the following:

  • Replace all carpeting and interior paint, and update all chairs and tables as needed
  • Create a more effective, more accessible circulation area and information desk
  • Provide better lighting in upper level (Adult Services) and accent lighting to brighten Children’s Services as needed
  • Provide more rooms for collaboration or quiet study and a high-tech classroom well equipped for hands-on instruction for adults and teens.  The classroom will enable the library not only to host regular classes covering many computer-related topics, but also career development classes, video conferencing, lunchtime brown-bag classes, and much more. 
  • Create a larger teen area that provides more for teens to do, including some high-tech interactive stations that will appeal to teens but will also be useful to adults as well
  • Provide more attractive, user-friendly display of new and popular materials in Adult and Children's Services
  • Provide more user-friendly Children's Services area featuring interactive displays and multimedia displays, a new “maker space” crafting area, and better access to computers for children
  • Expand staff workroom in Children's Services and improve the work space in Circulation Services workroom
  • Improve the sight and sound conditions in the community meeting room
  • Provide clear “way finding” for all, as well as more effective “sight lines” for staff

Listed below are more detailed highlights of the project:

Financial Plan

1) The cost of the entire renovation and remodeling project is estimated at $1.75 million.  An additional $150,000 will be budgeted for new technology.

2) The library will borrow $1.2 million in the form of a debt certificate to be paid back over a 10-year period using general funds.  The rest of the money will come from the library’s Special Reserve Fund ($500,000) and General fund ($200,000).

3) The library has applied for a $125,000 Live and Learn Construction Grant through the Illinois State Library

Upstairs Improvements (Adult Services and Circulation Services)

1) Addition of a new high-tech classroom in Adult Services where the reference collection used to be located

2) Addition of two new small meeting rooms in Adult Services, one seating six people and the other seating four.  These rooms will replace the existing public computer area that will be moved into the main open area between the new Information Hub and the new classroom.

3) Adult non-fiction shelving will be reduced and fiction shelving will be moved, opening enough space to create a new "marketplace" that will provide more inviting, more effective access to the library's most popular materials, including all new materials.  This marketplace concept will be featured in both Adult and Children's Services.  These areas will feature special display shelving with contemporary user-friendly lighting and signage.   

4) Removal of the existing Adult Services Reference Desk and the Circulation Desk.  A new combined information "hub" will replace these functions, conveniently located in clear view from the main entrance and able to accommodate up to four staff members.   A separate greeting/info station will be prominently located near the front of the new marketplace. 

5) Two self-checkout stations will be located next to the main entrance/exit, and a second self-checkin station will be added in the foyer.  The library is already fully equipped with state-of-the-art  RFID equipment, including a 5-bin sorter, patron and staff inductors, a self-checkout in Adult Services, and one in Children's Services.

6) New furnishings in Adult/Circulation Services (main level) will include new study chairs in Adult Services, rolling chairs and computer/electricity-ready tables in the new classroom, new large lounge chairs, and special new face-out display shelving for new books, DVDs, and CDs.

7) The Quiet Study Room will be reconfigured and refurnished to accommodate individuals wishing to study or read quietly.

8) A new display case will be located in the vestibule across from where the old one was located.

9) Updated public restrooms, including new floor tile, sinks with automatic sensors, counters, and more eco-friendly hand-drying systems.

Downstairs Improvements (Children’s Services)

1) Children's Services will be re-branded and reconfigured to be more visually dynamic upon entering the department, including the addition of some large traditional interactive displays such as a Lego wall, chalk/marker walls, and Brio or Thomas the Tank Engine train setups, along with new displays specifically designed to motivate and teach young children to read.  Some hands-on multimedia displays are also planned.    The library’s “charm factor” will be even greater than before, while the promotion of reading, creativity, and the “fun factor” of this department for kids aged 0 through fifth grade will greatly outshine the existing furnishings and equipment.   

2) The existing very large "reference" desk will be eliminated and replaced with the construction of a new wall that will expand the staff work area on the back side and comprise a large fun interactive display on the front side that will inspire children to visit the library often.

3) New furnishings in Children's Services (lower level) will include a new more compact information desk that has more effective sight lines for staff, special new marketplace face-out display shelving for new books, DVDs, and CDs, and new comfy lounge seating for kids and adults.

4) A new video-gaming area for older children and a new “maker space” that fosters creative crafts and play for various ages.

5) There will be more kid-friendly computers, and they will be located more effectively within the sight lines of the information desk.

The master plan for this project was prepared by Product Architecture and Design, and the cost estimates were prepared by Featherstone, Inc.

Please feel free to ask questions at any time by calling Library Director Tom Kern at 847-526-6225.