Construction under way on library project

Renovation plan clears hurdles, gets moving

COAL CITY — After a few snags in the permitting process, a renovation project to convert a 1950s home on the Coal City Public Library District campus into meeting space is now under way.

According to Dixie Wiley, communications coordinator for the library, work on the three-bedroom home facing Irving Street began in mid-August, after Brandt Builders won the bid for construction.

The project is being funded partially through a $40,950 state grant from the Illinois Secretary of State. The library district was one of 16 libraries statewide to receive funds to update facilities.

Wiley said library officials are excited to see the changes already taking shape at the site. The project is anticipated to be finished by Jan. 2, 2013.

“I think this one is moving along really fast,” she said. “... We’re pretty happy to see so much progress so far.”

Wiley said library personnel are particularly excited about the extra space the project will bring.

Construction includes plans to renovate the home into two meeting rooms that can accommodate 48 people, as well as provide additional storage space. The new meeting facility will be handicap accessible, too. The new rooms are expected to allow more flexibility for library programming and outside groups to use the facilities.

Early on in the planning process, the construction project hit a snag when receiving approval from the village.

During the permitting process in April, a neighbor of the library and library officials disagreed on whether it was the library’s responsibility to purchase trees in addition to a fence to help mitigate the renovation’s impact.

The library eventually agreed to the purchase, and the conditional use permit was approved by the village board of trustees in May.

Wiley said the library board is seeking public input on what the building should be named — officials hope to drum up a few recommendations to name it something of historical significance or after local individuals.