I wanted to take a minute and let everyone know what has been happening at the library. As many of you know, we had public meetings in November to talk about a new building project. I wanted to update everyone about our progress.
First some background. This summer, the Illinois State Library announced that there was going to be a new grant opportunity for Capital Construction projects available in spring of 2012. These grants will be funded by a one-time bond sale from the state (I have been assured that the money will be there). Each library that applies for a grant will be rated on a point scale in 5 different areas. These areas are:
- Replacement or reconstruction of a public library that has been destroyed or damaged by disaster, either man made or produced by nature.
- Projects that are designed to address population growth or to replace aging public library facilities.
- Replacement or reconstruction of a public library facility determined to be severe and continuing health or life safety hazards.
- Alterations necessary to provide accessibility for qualified individuals with disabilities.
- Other unique solutions to facility needs.
After each library applies for the grant and receives their score, they are ranked in order of highest score to lowest. The funding begins with the highest score, and works down the list until there is no more money to spend. Each library will receive a certain percentage of its project based on a formula developed from its population’s EAV. There is $50 million to give away. The Sherrard Public Library District will be applying for this grant program on April 16th, 2012. If it is awarded, the grant will fund 66% of our project. This is an all or nothing grant; there will be no partial payments.
There is a lot for us to do to get ready to apply, and we have already taken some steps. In August, we hired Anders Dahlgren of Library Planning Associates to help us determine the size of building we need, both to serve our current population and the expected changes in the population over the next 20 years. Anders facilitated the meetings we had with the public in November. We have also taken steps towards hiring an architect. This is an important part of the grant application, as we need to have preliminary drawings as well as an architect’s budget in place by April 16. Once we apply for the grant, we will be notified if we received it or not within 90 days. If you have any other questions, please call me at the library at (309) 593-2178 or email me directly at Lau...@sherrardlibrary.org. This is an exciting time, keep checking back for further updates.
Laura Long, Director