Downers Grove board members are making some final renovation decisions as the $2.6 million project churns along.
Library administrators recently asked the board to choose which last few features they want to add to the building's overhaul using part of the $200,000 previously donated from the library foundation.
About $150,000 of that amount already has been devoted to new furnishings and construction upgrades, including more extensive tiling in the bathrooms and nicer countertops throughout the building.
Library Director Rick Ashton said the improvements up for consideration are more maintenance-related. The suggested items include more window blinds, pavers for the north entry, new concrete near one of the entrances, lighting in the magazine area, ceiling tile replacement, surveillance cameras and new windows. All of the upgrades total about $87,000, Ashton said.
"At the time this list was constructed it wasn't about foundation money, specifically, but rather work that was needed," Ashton told the board at the April 23 meeting. "If you've ever come in the back door you'll see that the pavement is in bad condition."
Board members could not seem to agree on which specific upgrades to pursue, but Ashton and architect Daniel Pohrte that at least the magazine lighting and the ceiling tiles needed to be included in the ongoing work sooner rather than later.
"With the lighting, we'd want to open the ceiling. That's something that would be tough on the patrons or tough on the collection," Pohrte said.
Board Member Thomas Read eventually voted in favor of freeing up the $50,000 but said he was concerned about discussing spending all of the extra money this early into the work.
"I think it's just too early to recognize any additions to the budget," Read said. "If we don't find some unpleasant surprises later on, it will be miraculous."
The board unanimously approved the spending and directed Ashton to go forward with the improvements that were most urgent.
"Order the stuff you've got to order now, and we'll see how it goes," Board President Kathy DiCola said.
Meanwhile, the board also got its first look as some of the materials and furnishings that will be used throughout the interior renovation.
Architects selected a melange of blues, greens, reds and grays that will color the walls of the adult sections. The revamped children's section will see more color, including a gray carpet with rainbow colors scattered throughout, creating a gradient effect on the floor.
Carpeting on the second floor also will include some splashes of patterns, accented with dark green. Most countertops throughout the building will be shades of gray or white. The much-maligned bathrooms are slated to have more tiling and stainless steel partitions for the stalls.
Large tarps hanging throughout the building show the expanse of the work done thus far. Demolition is mostly complete in the circulation area, the junior room and on the second floor. The first phase of work is scheduled to be complete in early June.