Serving Our Community: The St. Charles Public Library’s Planning Process

Thanks to our patrons’ participation, the Library recently completed a future study. The results largely reflect community feedback from the 2010 referendum and a 2011 community survey. The Library Board is implementing an action plan based on this community input that includes:

•     Improving community awareness of Library services
•     Making the Library website more user-friendly
•     Alleviating the parking shortage
•     Making the Library more comfortable and inviting
•     Maintaining the aging facility and systems
•     Revisiting the 2010 building plan and future space needs
•     Considering options for service to west side residents
•     Adding more e-books and new technologies
•     Adding study and meeting space
•     Extending hours on weekends

Some resulting improvements to date are:

•     Updated “DISCOVER” newsletter and website
•     Construction of a new 43-space parking lot
•     Increased summer Sunday hours
•     Expansion of e-book and digital collections

In September, the Library Board voted not to pursue a referendum in 2013 because of the continuing state of the economy. Instead, the Board and staff are investigating ways to use reserve funds to optimize and update our present space and amenities. We are revisiting the 2010 building plans to consider how they might be downsized and adapted in view of changing technologies. While the Library is becoming more digitally oriented, people still ask for places to meet, collaborate, study, read and attend programs.

The 2011 survey gauged the level of awareness of and satisfaction with the Library’s current services. With the 2012 study, the Library Board is taking a broader view and looking at what residents believe the future role of the Library should be within the context of our community and its needs.

 

The new parking lot is now open.

The 43-space parking lot on the east side of the block south of the current library property is now complete and open for use.
It was built in response to: the increase in the Library District population; the inadequacy of current parking; and the most frequently voiced concern of library users and non-users who found the lack of parking inconvenient.

No Parking Permitted on Walnut between 7th and 6th Avenues

The City has installed NO PARKING signs along the north and south sides of Walnut Avenue. The Library asked the City to do this upon completion of the new lot  to prevent traffic flow problems when the new parking lot opens, and drivers are entering and exiting three different lots. So, if you are accustomed to parking along Walnut Avenue, please be aware of this new restriction.

Estimated Completion Date of New Parking Lot

Chicagoland Paving (the parking lot contractor) is estimating the new temporary parking lot to be finished by the end of August, including the landscaping.

Once completed, the new lot will be able to hold 43 cars.

Work on Parking Lot Resumes

Construction continues on our new Temporary Parking lot. Once completed, the new lot will be able to hold 43 cars.

We anticipate substantial completion in late August or early September.

We appreciate your patience and will keep you updated on the status of this project.

Work Suspended on Parking Lot

Work on the parking lot was suspended for several weeks as we waited for AT&T to schedule telephone cable relocation that must be done before other work can continue. We now have been told that AT&T  will do this work sometime during this week (week of July 16th), so we hope construction will resume soon.

Construction Started On Temporary Parking Lot

Construction began on May 18 for a Temporary Parking Lot on the east side of the block south of the current library property. The contractor is Chicagoland Paving Contractors, Inc. of Lake Zurich, Illinois. It is estimated that construction time will be about two months.

The St. Charles Public Library Foundation announced recently that they will fund the landscaping for the project. In addition to the landscaping, the Foundation also will provide identification tags for not only the new plants on the new lot, but also for all existing plants on Library property.

Questions about the parking lot may be directed to Library Director Diana Brown, at 630-584-0076, ext. 228.

Refer to the Temporary Parking Lot Update post dated October 24, 2011 for more information on the project, including: the Library’s need for more parking spaces; the differences between a permanent lot and a temporary lot; and how the temporary lot will be funded.

Remember Our Convenient Book Drop Locations

With the upcoming construction on Route 64, please remember our four book drop locations.

West Side:
Grimm’s Pharmacy Valley
Shopping Center
1605 W Main St St. Charles, IL
(map)

East Side:
J.C.Licht’s
Foxboro Plaza
2400 E. Main St.
St Charles, IL
(map)

Northwest Side:
Silver Glen Crossing
Randall Rd. & Silver Glen
St Charles, IL
(map)

Northeast Side:
Wayne Police Station
Army Trail Road at 5N430 Railroad Street
Wayne, IL
(map)
Items collected at this location on Monday and Thursday afternoons only. Fines will be adjusted according to pick-up schedule.

For more information regarding the Illinois Route 64 (North Ave.) project, please visit the IDOT website.

Temporary Parking Lot Update II

Work is now underway to construct a 43-space parking lot on the east side of the block south of the current library property (PDF included below). In December, the Library Board approved the bid from Chicagoland Paving Contractors, Inc. of Lake Zurich, Illinois in the amount of $139,900 for construction and landscaping of the lot.

Before construction begins, the house on the southeast corner of the lot will be demolished by Omega Demolition Co. of Elgin, Illinois. Extensive abatement is required due to asbestos through the house and in the roof shingles. The abatement tentatively is scheduled for the first week of April. Demolition will follow, and construction will begin soon afterward. The date for construction has not been set yet. It is estimated that construction time will be about two months.

Refer to the Temporary Parking Lot Update post dated October 24, 2011 for more information on the project, including: the Library’s need for more parking spaces; the differences between a permanent lot and a temporary lot; and how the temporary lot will be funded.

Drawing of Proposed Lot: 2011_1018_South_Parking_Plan

Temporary Parking Lot Update

The Library plans to construct a 43-space parking lot early next spring on the east side of the block that is south of the current library property (PDF included below). This is in response to:

  1. The increase in the Library district population, which grew more than 25% between 2000 and 2010, from 43,917 to 55,092;
  2. The inadequacy of current parking (104 spaces), which falls 32 spaces short of the number recommended (136 spaces) for the size of the present facility constructed in 1908, 1964 and 1989;
  3. The complaints and suggestions of library users and non-users.

The Library’s inadequate parking is the most frequently voiced concern that we receive from our patrons and those who say they would use the library but find the lack of parking inconvenient. There currently are 104 parking spaces; the number recommended for the existing building is 136. With the failure of the 2010 referendum to expand the building and parking, we are addressing this need now rather than waiting until the next referendum, which would not take place until February 2013 at the earliest.

At the request of the Library, the City recently rezoned the block south of the Library to CBD2-Mixed Use Business District, which will permit the Library to use the houses for work areas, storage, and parking. The Library hopes to move ahead with the construction of additional parking. The Board is now proceeding with the bidding process; construction will not begin until spring 2012.

The Library Board decided to construct a temporary parking lot in order to provide the convenience of additional parking as soon as possible, without the high cost that a permanent lot would entail. The temporary lot actually can last up to 12 years, while meeting all the safety and code requirements. The greatest cost of a permanent lot is the underground detention system. With a temporary lot, dry detention can be utilized. The lot will have curbing and will be attractively landscaped and well-lighted. The additional parking should meet community needs until more permanent parking can be provided.

Entrance and egress will be along the south side of Walnut Avenue. The Library has submitted a request to the St. Charles Police Department to eliminate on-street parking along Walnut Avenue to reduce the congestion that could occur with parking on both the north and south sides of the Avenue.

Only the house on the corner of 7th and Illinois Avenues must be removed in order to make way for the detention area. There are no plans to demolish the other three houses along Illinois and 6th Avenues for this temporary lot.

The temporary parking lot will be funded by the Library’s Special Reserve Fund that was established in 1989 to provide funds for facility improvements.

Drawing of Proposed Lot: 2011 1018 South Parking Plan.pdf