Renovation FAQs

 Renovation Plan FAQ (Printable information sheet and design plan.)

Why do we need a public library in this age of digital technology? Aren’t books obsolete? Don’t people find everything they need online?

The public library is needed now more than ever as a source of free materials, programs, and services for citizens of all ages. Residents of the Lemont Public Library District depend on their public library to provide them with these needed services.

The recently completed Illinois Public Library Annual Report (for FY2014-2015) indicates extensive use of library materials, public computers,  library program attendance and usage of our meeting and study rooms. No other government agency in Lemont provides these services and more for 68 hours a week with no additional fees.

LEMONT PUBLIC LIBRARY – USAGE STATS FY2013-14
                                                #         Attendees
Library Programs                  768          9,004
Meeting Room Use               239          4,620
Study Room Use                1,928          2,892

                                              2,935      16,516

Items Checked Out:
Books                                                109,033
DVDs                                                   36,305
Magazines                                             5,780
Audio (Music, Books)                          16,058
Digital Downloads                               15,776
(books, magazines, audio)               182,952

Public Computer Use                        12,459

Source: Illinois Public Library Annual Report, 8-27-14

Why is the library placing a bond question on the November 4, 2014 ballot?

Renovations are necessary due to two decades of wear and tear to the facility as well as the need to better address patron needs, as communicated at previous public meetings. The building would be reconfigured to better address evolving technology, expanding programming, new media and demand for more quiet study areas.

What is the scope of the project?

The Renovation Plan would include capital repairs and replacements (such as roof, HVAC, carpeting, parking lot repairs and electrical and data upgrades), a 1,600 SF addition for meeting spaces, and refurbishment of the library building.

What is the project cost?

The project would total approximately $2.8M, based on cost estimates prepared in conjunction with the concept schematic design (may also be referenced in our FAQ brochure) plan completed in April 2014   (image here) 

Do the improvements require a tax rate increase?

As a result of an existing bond issue being retired in December 2015, the $2.8 million in renovations can be accomplished while reducing the tax rate for debt service by an estimated 30%.

How will the project be funded?

Subject to voter approval at the November 4th General Election, the Library will issue building bonds for $2.8M. Based on current interest costs and market conditions, the Library is likely to pursue a 15 year bond term with level payments and an interest rate estimated at approximately 3.585%.

What is my cost?

The bond for the original construction of the library building will be retired in 2015. New debt service to fund the renovation, would cost approximately 30% less than the current tax for library debt service. estimated tax impact

 

What will the renovated library offer?

A modest expansion will maximize use of library space and meet our community’s current and future needs by providing:

  • Convenient access to public services and library services
  • Comfortable seating options for reading, studying and relaxing
  • Additional venues for technology training, programs and meetings with instructional technology and demonstration capabilities
  • Expanded areas for business, group study and individual use
  • Larger Children’s area with additional activity rooms, interactive stations, and a parents’ gathering space
  • Attractive teen space to promote collaborative learning and reading discovery

Why should we continue to invest in our library?

The public library is a critical part of a thriving community, providing gathering spaces, activities, educational opportunities and resources for all residents without additional fees.

Why can’t repairs be paid for with the Library’s operating budget?

The Library’s reserve fund is not sufficient to cover the anticipated repairs needed to maintain the facility in good working order in the coming years. The Library has one of the lowest library tax rates in the suburban Chicago area, Our budget, which is 90% funded by local property taxes, is approximately $1.3 million to operate our facility, open 68 hours a week, 352 days a year.

What repairs and renovations would be made to extend the useful life of the library and improve energy efficiency?

The proposed repairs and improvements include:

  • Roof replacement
  • Updating electrical/ data systems to current standards
  • Replacement of outdated mechanical system (HVAC)
  • Energy efficient, ambient lighting
  • Parking lot repaving
  • Carpeting

Why now?

Renovating now protects your investment in the library and ensures that it will be usable for years to come. Construction and interest costs are very favorable at the present time; the cost of repairs and renovation will only continue to increase in the future.

The library building is 18 years old and mechanical, electrical and data systems are nearing end-of-life. We will also realize significant cost savings by reducing funds expended on escalating repair and maintenance costs. (An estimated 20% savings on electrical repairs and lighting replacement costs and 16-20% reduction in utility costs will result from an energy efficient HVAC system and electrical upgrades.)

Why is the current space not sufficient?

The needs of library users and expectations for library services and technology have changed in the last two decades. Reconfiguration of the existing space will meet demands for additional study and meeting spaces, quiet areas, convenient access to materials and services and comfortable seating options.

What is the project timeline?

After the successful passage of the referendum and implementation of the financing plan, it will take approximately a year to complete the project. The Library will use a phased approach in order to remain open during the renovation process.

Where can I find more information on the Renovation Plan? Renovation news, plans and documents are available on our website. You can also contact any Library Trustee through our website or contact Library Director Sandra Pointon spointon@lemontlibrary.org for more information. We welcome your input!