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Local

Geneva residents offer feedback on options for new library

Christine Lazaris, executive director of the Geneva Public Library, speaks to about 50 people July 19 at the third and last workshop on the new library building.
Christine Lazaris, executive director of the Geneva Public Library, speaks to about 50 people July 19 at the third and last workshop on the new library building.

GENEVA – In the Geneva Public Library Board of Trustee's third and final community workshop July 19, about 50 people turned out to look at what a new library might look like.

Architects Michael Markey, Patrick Callahan and Project Manager Craig Meadows discussed the different materials that could be used, such as limestone, brick, terracotta, frittered glass, wood slatting and ivy.

They also discussed ways in which the nearby houses could be shielded not only for their privacy, but to soften their view of the parking lot.

A successful referendum April 4 allows the district to build a new 57,000-square-foot facility at the site of the former Sixth Street School at 210 S. Sixth St. Voters approved a $21.8 million bond issue for the new facility.

“Part of our discussion is to have that pedestrian connection, so this truly is a walkable corridor,” Markey said.

The new library will be part of the civic corridor that includes the U.S. Post Office, the Kane County Courthouse and Geneva City Hall, Markey said.

Preliminary drawings show an outdoor area for children’s programming and for adults to sit outside and read, if they want to, Markey said.

“We are exploring and expanding options both for sustainable design for the building, but also for the site,” Callahan said.

These include stormwater management, geothermal energy, recycled materials and LED or light-emitting diode lighting, Callahan said.

“Our objective is to ensure we are ... having a high-quality, inviting building that uses natural light and all the great things people like in space,” Callahan said. “Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the operational efficiency is the highest it can possibly be.”

Part of the outdoor design, where the children’s area would be, incorporated a bridge’s arch – which some residents disagreed about.

Ted Danielson said the bridge idea was too much of a cliche but Lorraine Ochsner disagreed.

“I didn’t see a design I didn’t like,” Ochsner said of all the options presented.

Geneva Library Board President Bob Shiffler said the architects and officials were taking input from the public for consideration.

Those who could not attend the workshop can see the presentation online at www.gpldnewbuilding.org and send comments and suggestions to the board via email at board@gpld.org.

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