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A new library addition

TISKILWA — Ground was broken Friday for a 3,800-square-foot addition to the Tiskilwa Library.

Village and state officials joined library board members at the ceremony held where the new library will open its doors after construction is finished. The existing library will become a community meeting place after it is renovated.

Wayne Nowlan of ATSE Consultants of Peoria, the architect for the project, said at an open house in May the existing library’s drop ceiling will be removed to reveal the original tin ceiling. The current non-operational clock and bell tower on the library building’s roof will be removed during the renovation.

There will be an interior ramp from the new addition to the existing library with an exterior ramp located at the building’s north side for handicap accessibility. There will also be two handicapped parking spots in front of the new addition that will be the main entrance into both buildings.

The estimated cost of the project is $1,016,600 with $504,241 of that coming from an Illinois State Library Public Library Construction Act Grant; the remaining $512,000 represents the local share.

The Friends of Library’s fundraising goal for the project is $100,000 with $48,615 in donations and pledges collected so far. The remaining funds will come from the library board saving about $265,000 in funds throughout the years and a loan up to $250,000 from a local bank to be repaid over 20 years. The final loan amount will depend on donations.

Library trustees on March 3, 2001, set a goal to complete a major physical plant change (by either renovating the current building or building a new library) to make the library handicapped accessible and able to serve the community for the next 50 years.

The 3,800-square-foot addition to the Tiskilwa Library, built in 1908, will be attached to the current building and placed on two lots bought by the library board. Voters rejected a referendum in 2010 to issue $1.8 million in bonds for a new library.

Rich Foss, president of the Tiskilwa Library Board, discovered in 2011 the state of Illinois was offering new construction grants for historic libraries that were more than 100 years old.

Foss said Tiskilwa Public Library’s application was one of 15 libraries in Illinois to be accepted. There were 60 libraries who applied for the construction grants.

State Librarian Jesse White notified the Tiskilwa Public Library on July 3, 2012, that it was entitled to receive a Fiscal Year 2013 Illinois Public Library Construction Act Grant. One of the stipulations of the grant application was that the library building couldn’t have undergone any major modifications to even submit an application. Another requirement to apply for the state grant was that the library had to own the property where the library was situated, which meant in Tiskilwa, the village had to transfer ownership of the land to the library board.

The Hein Construction Co. of Peoria will be the general contractor for the project after it was awarded the bid for the renovation and addition on June 3.

The first library in Bureau County was created in 1875 when seven members of the Owl Club each contributed $3 to launch the Tiskilwa Library Association. In 1894, the Tiskilwa Public Library was created under state law, and the Tiskilwa Library Association was formally turned over to the library board and management.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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