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Library Renovation Project

Building the Next Chapter of the St. Charles Public Library

The St. Charles Library Board of Trustees has approved preliminary concept plans for an $18.6 million renovation and minor expansion of the St. Charles Public Library building that will modernize and upgrade much of the Library’s current space to ensure that it will be a popular destination and a cherished community gathering place well into the 21st century.

Plans for the modernization and expansion of the St. Charles Public Library have been in place for over a decade, with the Library’s Board of Trustees voting to approve our commitment to do so back in 2008. Through deliberate planning and responsible financial stewardship, the Board of Trustees has since been able to set aside $13.6 million in the Library’s special reserve funds to finance the bulk of the project. Click here to view a full timeline of the past 10 years of the Library’s planning efforts.

Over a year ago, the Library embarked on a months-long planning, assessment, and input process to determine what the community would like to see included in the new Library renovations. The Library partnered with Kimberly Bolan and Associates to hold staff and community input sessions and conduct space needs assessments.

This process resulted in creation of the current concept plans developed by Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects. These plans currently call for the following changes to be made at the St. Charles Public Library:

  • Updating the building infrastructure to include a new roof, HVAC system, new elevators and other crucial maintenance items.
  • Construction of a new entrance on the east façade of the Library building to add access to all levels through a new elevator, increase the Library’s visibility on Main Street and increase parking efficiency.
  • Rearrangement of the main Library floor to create a “grand reading room” complete with fireplaces, tables, and furniture.
  • Incorporation of the historic original Carnegie Building space into the everyday life of the Library through the addition of study rooms and a quiet reading and research area.
  • Construction of two new community meeting rooms, one on the main floor and one on the lower level in Youth Services to host increased amounts of patrons for popular Library events and programs, as well as meetings and other gatherings for outside community groups and businesses.
  • Construction of a terraced garden next to the new entrance along the east façade of the building to allow more natural light into the Lower Level and for the incorporation of green program space.
  • Addition of a drive-up window on the south side of the building to allow for quick patron service.
  • Addition of an outdoor patio seating area at the site of the current entrance on the southeast corner of the building overlooking the terraced garden.
  • Addition of a Makerspace room for collaboration on artistic and digital projects.
  • Renovation and expansion of the parking lots to allow more spaces and safer pedestrian access to the building.
  • Relocation and rearrangement of staff work areas to allow for increased efficiency and better usage of Library space.

Project Documents & More Information

     Project FAQs

     Project Timeline

     Board Meetings

     Strategic Plan 

     Facility Condition Assessment Report 

     Bond Issue Timetable 2019

     Ordinance for Debt Certificates 2018-2019-7

     Ordinance Confirming Use of Special Reserve Fund 2018-2019 – 8

Presentations at Library Board Meetings:

    Space and Facilities Assessment Update - 10 October 2018

    Concept Design Update - 14 November 2018

    Concept Design Update - 19 December 2018

    Concept Design Update - 13 February 2019

    Exterior and Schematic Design Update – 12 June 2019

    Exterior and Schematic Design Update – 11 July 2019

    Concept Design Update - 11 September 2019

    Interior Design – 09 October 2019 

    Design Update Presented to Planning & Development Commission (most recent design) – 14 November 2019 

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tours

As part of the renovation process, we want you to be aware of all the planned changes to the Library. Our behind-the-scenes tours will be open to all, and will offer you the opportunity to get an inside look at the current operation of the Library, and a chance to ask questions and get more information about the project. The tours will be offered at the following times:  

  • Saturday, December 14 at 9:30 a.m. 
  • Thursday, January 9 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 11 at 10:00 a.m. 

Tours will depart from the Main Lobby. Registration is not required. 

For more information, contact St. Charles Public Library Director, Edith G. Craig at 630-584-0076 x273 or email ecraig@scpld.org.