Park Forest Library Readies for Big Makeover

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Park Forest Library is making final preparations for internal renovations.

At the February 23 Park Forest Village Board meeting, the Board voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to support the Library during construction.

Library Board President Penny Shnay and Director Barbara Osuch gave a presentation to the Village Board during a joint board meeting in January that showed that the Library currently has a fund balance of $1.3 million. This is enough capital to pay for the needed repairs and renovations. The Library needs no new tax increase to pay for this project.

“It has been over 40 years since the last major overhaul to the library building.” says Director, Barbara Osuch. “We have been putting off much needed repairs and building upgrades for many years. The public restrooms, lighting in the Adult Reading area and Reference Department, and an increase in floor space for the Children’s Department are top priority in this new design,” Osuch continued.

In May 2008, staff from the Village Manager’s office recommended Innovative Design Concepts, a space design firm with whom they had worked and had a great deal of success in the past. The Library hired them to take a look at the current building, listen to suggestions, and then design a building layout that the Library could afford. The space plan was informed by a series of studies begun in 2001 that had involved a library architect, a library building consultant, and an environmental engineering study. In November, the Library Board was presented with conceptual drawings of a complete redesign of the first floor.

“We have turned the design over to the architects and engineers with hopes of having blueprints ready and bid packages completed by April 1. Construction could begin as early as June 1. It is our intention to remain open during the entire renovation project. The only times we would close would be for an unexpected loss of electrical power, the inability to provide necessary restroom facilities or during demolition that might put the public’s safety in jeopardy,” says Ms. Osuch.