Geneva Library officials eye 6th Street school site, consider building plan

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 7:40 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – As Geneva Library officials still are considering a new location for a new building, the former Sixth Street school site, currently owned by Kane County, could be a possibility.

The library has the right of first refusal.

“We are getting some questions from the county about our commitment to Sixth Street school, we might not have the luxury of a building program first,” Pat Lord said. “That is a real possibility.”

Michael Mackey of Dewberry Architects did a presentation to the board on how to proceed. Mackey, who said he has designed libraries for 15 years, said they should begin with a building program. 

“The whole design phase does not happen until you do a whole lot of work up front,” Mackey said. 

“Meet with staff, with the library board and define every space in the library – determining how big the library should be. Everything else will be based on that knowledge,” Mackey said. “The building plan will establish the square footage and then any design is tested against that.”

Lord said she did not think they had the luxury of doing the building program first if the property becomes available.

“If we are pressured ... to exercise our right of first refusal, we need to know how to make the property work for us,” trustee Susan Shivers said. 

Marilyn Boria, the library’s interim director, said library officials need that building program to get the public’s support. 

“You can’t answer any question if you don’t have a building program,” Boria said. “That is the basis of everything.”

Trustees said they would schedule a special meeting and work further with Mackey on a building plan.

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