After postponing plans for a new library, the Normal Public Library is now considering renovation.
The library board was presented nine different expansion and rebuild options Wednesday night.
Chicago-based Product Architecture and Design completed the feasibility study with plans ranging from a near $14 million addition to a $43 million rebuild. Cost estimates are all inclusive with furniture and the cost of temporarily moving out of the facility.
Library Board President Jess Ray said the renovation would allow for much needed updates.
“Our goal is to make sure that whatever we do, there is some flexibility so that we don’t build something that is not going to be useful in the future,” Ray said. “It’s just like as we have here, unfortunately, some of things that changed we weren’t able to take into account with the initial (building), so we don’t want to be in that situation for the next generation to come along.”
The most economical option involves an addition to the west side of the building. From there, the options grow more costly as additional renovations are tacked on. The final two options involve demolishing the old building entirely and starting from scratch.
The final rebuild option costs similar to plans for a new library presented earlier this year, which the board postponed due to funding issues.
All renovation schemes would include space for added study rooms, seating, and age- or genre-specific areas.
Ray said the updates would allow the library to better serve the needs of the community.
“We do have some limitations with the current space and we’re trying to find ways to address those things, like a need for small, private rooms while also having areas that are both loud and quiet and meeting different needs for different members of communities,” Ray said. “So, trying to find ways to address that and to continue to look at innovations to meet all the needs of our community.”
Ray said the renovation project is in its early stages with no definite timeline or plan to present to the Normal Town Council.
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