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Cook Library officials debating temporary move during construction
By Russell Lissau | Daily Herald Staff

Heather Jozwiak of Libertyville looks through books at the Cook Memorial Public Library in Libertyville on Thursday. The library could move to a temporary space during construction in 2009.

 

Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Lori Halahan of Libertyville and her 4-year-old son, Gavin, use the automated express checkout at the Cook Memorial Public Library in Libertyville on Thursday. The library could relocate during an expansion project in 2009.

 

Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Chara Wright of Vernon Hills looks through books in the children's section at the Cook Memorial Public Library in Libertyville. The building is scheduled to undergo an expansion in 2009.

 

Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

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Published: 11/20/2008 3:50 PM

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The main Cook Memorial Public Library in Libertyville could relocate to temporary rental space during an upcoming construction project.

"Obviously we have to maintain a library during construction," board President Aaron Lawlor said. "It's something we're going to have to look at."

The library, at 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., is scheduled to be expanded and upgraded as part of a $14 million plan that also calls for the construction of a second library in Vernon Hills.

Work on the Libertyville site could begin in spring 2009. Library officials insist patrons still will be able to check out books and conduct other library business during construction.

Shutting down the library without offering some level of service would be irresponsible, Lawlor said. "Where?" is the question.

One possibility would have parts of the library stay open during the work. But construction-related noise could be problematic, board member Chris Dalton said. Parking availability could be limited, too, Dalton said.

Another option would see library services temporarily move to rental space, perhaps in a shopping center on Milwaukee Avenue, Lawlor said.

Such a move would allow officials to shut down the facility and let the construction workers have their run of the place. That could speed up construction by four to six months, Lawlor said.

"Time is money," Lawlor said.

The potential cost of such an endeavor isn't yet known and would be a factor, he said. If the cost doesn't exceed the savings garnered from a quicker construction schedule, officials said, it could be good for the district.

"If the whole thing works out to be a cost savings, then we would probably do it," Dalton said.

Library board members discussed the options Tuesday night but made no decisions.

Whatever is done in Libertyville will have little - if any - impact on the Vernon Hills project.

The Vernon Hills library will be built on Aspen Drive south of Route 60. Officials hope to hire a contractor in early December, and work could begin the same month.

A temporary branch now operating in the basement of Vernon Hills' village hall will close when the Aspen Drive facility is built.