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Palos Park library will partially close during remodeling

The Palos Park Public Library will be mostly closed to the public starting April 1 during the construction renovation of the library’s interior.

While some limited services will continue to be provided to patrons, the library is not expected to fully re-open until June 1 while “major renovation” occurs inside the 33-year-old building.

The Palos Park Village Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a request from the library’s board of trustees to reduce permit fees for the proposed remodeling. In granting the request, the Village Council has agreed not to charge the library the $180 fee for a building inspection. Commissioner G. Darryl Reed was absent.

The remodeling project is expected to begin within the next month and take about 90-to-120 days to complete, according to Commissioner James Pavlatos. At the crux of the project is turning the community room into “a wide open computer room.”

The library will continue to provide its patrons some services during the renovation, library Director Sheila Sosnicki told The Regional Tuesday. Story times for children and other programs will be held at the village Recreation Center, she said.

The library board also plans a mobile circulation vehicle to allow people to check out new and other books off-site, Sosnicki said. Library staff will offer other services on a limited basis near the library entrance, in so far as they do not interfere with construction going on inside. The board was to firm up its plans at its meeting Tuesday night and more details will emerge by the time the library closes around April 1 or 2, Sosnicki added.

Village Commissioner Nicole Milovich-Walters told the council Monday: “I think working together like this makes sense. It’s not a lot of money that we’re losing by sending our [building inspector] over there. I think it’s great that we are all working together to make it as efficient as possible.”

Commissioner Dan Polk voted in favor of the permit fee reductions, but said it was a “reluctant yes.” “I’m sensitive to the fact that the library wants to save money, but we got to pay these people too,” Polk said. “That’s my only thought.”

With the village taking on the cost of the building inspector, the library’s total for permit fees will be approximately $890 as it still has to pay for other outside consultants, Palos Park Mayor John Mahoney said.

“It’s going to become modernized – an electronic room for computers and online service,” Pavlatos said of the library project. “That is adjunct that we really don’t have right now and something that has been a request. It’s going to become a computer-generated room. That is going to be nice not only for young people but also senior citizens that want to spend some time on the computer.”

All library events scheduled to take place in the community room including book discussions and guest speakers will be relocated to the village’s recreation center while the project takes place. The library is expected to remain partially open during the remodeling.

In addition to the renovations in the community room, Pavlatos said the library’s current storage area will be transformed into a conference room.

“It’s going to be a major renovation,” he said. “It will be a more efficient use of the space.”

Although the final blueprints for the remodeling have not been submitted to the village’s building department, Mahoney said there are no plans to expand the library from its existing 6,100 square feet. No additions to the building are part of the project, he noted.

The total cost of the remodeling is unknown as the library board has yet to bid the project, Pavlatos said.

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