Preserving the Past & Securing the Future: The Lake Forest Library Capital Improvement Project

 

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Preserving & Securing Your Library

Welcome to the Lake Forest Library Capital Improvement Project (CIP) page. Here you can find rationale, research, updates, engagement opportunities, and work done to date on the CIP.

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Project Overview

CIP News & Updates

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Why This Project and Why Now?

Built in 1931, the Library building has served Lake Forest residents well for decades. It is a beloved informational and cultural resource with outstanding art and architectural elements. However, time has taken a toll:

  • The building’s infrastructure is aging, which limits library functionality and occupies staff time that would be better spent serving the public.
  • There have been intermittent renovations in the building's nearly 90-year lifespan, resulting in areas that are difficult to navigate and do not address the need for improved accessibility.
  • The Lake Forest community's expectations of modern libraries have outpaced the capacities of the building, which lacks adequate and flexible space to support the level of library materials, programs, services, and meeting rooms that are expected of a high-functioning library today and into the future.

These limitations severely restrict the Library's ability to fulfill its mission and to continue serving the Lake Forest community with excellence.

 

Recent News & Updates

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CIP News

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CIP Info by Date

Jump to: Project OverviewNews & UpdatesContact usBrowse Topics

Project Timeline

February

Kenneth M. Itle, Architect and Associate Principal, WJE, presented at a public Building Committee meeting to share preliminary findings from the investigatory stage and outlined next steps of the dome project. Schematic concepts were studied with the Building Committee.

May

At the Library Board meeting, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. ("WJE") presented its preferred solution for the dome project to the Library Board for its review and consideration.The Building Committee requested the Library Board authorize the submission of an Application to the Historic Preservation Commission for a Certificate of Appropriateness based on WJE's recommendations on the dome project.

On May 25, the City of Lake Forest Historic Preservation Commission issued a Certificate of Appropriateness forthe dome solution presented by WJE.

January–December

The Lake Forest Library Foundation commences philanthropic work.

March

Update presentation to City Council at the Council's meeting on March 15.

April

Public Listening Sessions held online over four days. View the recordings.

May–June

Community Perception Poll conducted by Burges & Burges with results reported at the July 13, 2021, Library Board meeting.

July

Formation of Library Board Building Committee, led by Board Vice President Bryan Bertola and Trustee Heather Strong.

August

Library Board prioritizes the dome and rotunda as a first step of the Capital Improvement Project.

Building Committee holds public meeting on August 30 to answer questions about the actions taken at the 8/10/21 Lake Forest Library Board meeting and to encourage patrons and community organizations to express their opinions on the critical qualities sought after in the hiring of a prospective firm for professional services regarding the dome and interior rotunda.

September

Library Board announces a Request for Qualifications for repair and restoration of the dome and interior rotunda, Phase One of the Capital Improvement Project.

October

Building Committee holds public meeting on October 19 to engage patrons and community organizations in helping to develop interview questions.

November

Building Committee begins evaluation process of RFQs for architectural and engineering services.

The Lake Forest Library Foundation launches a new website at www.lflibraryfoundation.org.

December

The Foundation launches a campaign to fund a permanent endowment for Lake Forest Library.

The Library Board approves contracting with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) for dome investigation, repair, and restoration work

January–February

The Hodge Group (THG) interviews philanthropic community and City Government.

March

THG delivers feasibility report on philanthropic and government support.

April

Building program assessment completed.

Annual report shared with City Council and City Administrators.

IRS awards 501(c)(3) status to The Lake Forest Library Foundation.

April–August

Library Board and HGA work through pre-design and program study phase.

June

Annual report shared with stakeholders.

July–August

Seated the Board of The Lake Forest Library Foundation.

HGA, Library, City Administration, and HPC/Lake Forest Preservation Foundation hold subcommittee meetings.

October

Introductory presentation to City Council at the Council's meeting on October 19.

January

HGA delivers dome restoration report.

Elevator service restored after four months.

March

Redesign of Phase 2 of McKinley Road Development impacts Library's potential expansion parcel.

June

Updated the Mayor and City Administrators on Capital Improvement Project.

August

Retained The Hodge Group (THG) as capital campaign counsel.

November–December

THG interviews philanthropic community.

Incorporated The Lake Forest Library Foundation and filed for 501(c)(3) status.

March

Retained HGA, Inc., architectural and engineering firm.

April

HGA facilitates community and staff forums.

September

HGA delivers feasibility study.

Library issues RFP for capital campaign counsel.

October

Library updates City Council.

November

City advises Library to hold and enter triage period.

December

Dome wrapped a second time to protect murals and Library interior.

May

Community Assessment completed.

September

Library Board adopts a new mission statement and new Strategic Plan.

November

RFQ for Architectural Services issued.

Dome wrapped to protect murals and Library interior.

May

Library Board implements a new operational strategy.

 

CIP Info by Topic

Jump to: Project OverviewNews & UpdatesContact usBrowse Timeline

Order of Posts

All of the following posts are listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent updates first.

Project Progression

Lake Forest Library

Lake Forest Library Board approves prioritizing the dome and rotunda as a first step of the Capital Improvement Project

Posted August 10, 2021. As a first step of the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) to enhance and revitalize Lake Forest Library, on August 10 the Library Board approved prioritizing repair and restoration work on the dome and interior rotunda, and appointed the Library Board Building Committee to investigate next steps and solicit feedback and recommendations from the City of Lake Forest, qualified experts, Lake Forest Library patrons, and community organizations at future dates to be determined.

Read More
Summer 2021 update

CIP Update: Summer 2021

Posted May 15, 2021. Thank you to everyone who attended the Capital Improvement  Project Public Listening Sessions with Lake Forest Library and HGA Architects. We appreciated your open minds as we presented on the project work completed to date and your meaningful comments on your hopes and ...

Read More
CIP info

What we know about the CIP to date

Posted February 19, 2021. The Library will remain at the 360 East Deerpath Road location based on community input. The Library will undergo a significant renovation, addressing the aging and obsolete infrastructure, as well as the significant ADA challenges, in the existing 1931 Edwin Clark build...

Read More
Space needs

CIP Update: Spring 2021

Posted February 15, 2021. With the arrival of spring comes the promise of fresh growth and renewal. Likewise, the Capital Improvement Project seeks to revitalize and bring new life to Lake Forest Library. In large part, this revitalization is accomplished by restoring and creating flexible, mu...

Read More
CIP timeline

CIP Update: Winter 2020

Posted November 15, 2020. You have been on a journey with us! The Capital Improvement Project began in earnest four years ago, and we are now looking ahead to possible next steps and the timing of upcoming phases of the work. Over these past several years, you have likely participated in  ...

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CIP info

Executive Summary of the CIP through July 2020

Posted July 30, 2020. The Library Board and Library administration began working on the Library Capital Improvement Project in 2016. May 2017 marked the one-year anniversary of a new operational strategy for the Library, reflecting a more open and welcoming library created by loosening of lending rules and increasing invitations to come to the building for additional programming and community gatherings. The Library Board was interested both in learning the Lake Forest community’s opinion of this new operational strategy and better understanding how the Library building created challenges to its effectiveness.

Read More

Community Engagement

CIP Public Sessions

Community Listening Sessions: April 2021

Posted April 15, 2021. Thank you to everyone who attended CIP Public Listening Sessions with Lake Forest Library and HGA Architects. We appreciated your open minds as we presented on the project work completed to date and your meaningful comments on your hopes and dreams for the Library. We we...

Read More
Restored Foyer rendering

Community Engagement with the Capital Improvement Project

Posted November 20, 2020. On this Page How you engage with and provide feedback on the Capital Improvement Project Architectural Explorations: Preserved Historic Spaces Architectural Explorations: Flexible New Spaces Design Explorations No design decisions have been made, and we lo...

Read More
CIP info

Executive Summary of the CIP through July 2020

Posted July 30, 2020. The Library Board and Library administration began working on the Library Capital Improvement Project in 2016. May 2017 marked the one-year anniversary of a new operational strategy for the Library, reflecting a more open and welcoming library created by loosening of lending rules and increasing invitations to come to the building for additional programming and community gatherings. The Library Board was interested both in learning the Lake Forest community’s opinion of this new operational strategy and better understanding how the Library building created challenges to its effectiveness.

Read More

 

Space & Service Needs

CIP info

What we know about the CIP to date

Posted February 19, 2021. The Library will remain at the 360 East Deerpath Road location based on community input. The Library will undergo a significant renovation, addressing the aging and obsolete infrastructure, as well as the significant ADA challenges, in the existing 1931 Edwin Clark build...

Read More
Space needs

CIP Update: Spring 2021

Posted February 15, 2021. With the arrival of spring comes the promise of fresh growth and renewal. Likewise, the Capital Improvement Project seeks to revitalize and bring new life to Lake Forest Library. In large part, this revitalization is accomplished by restoring and creating flexible, mu...

Read More
Front rendering

Library Space Needs

Posted November 25, 2020. Whether you’ve browsed for a book or movie, attended a program, or weaved your way back to the elevator, you’ve likely noticed how the Library sometimes feels cramped. Despite the space constraints in our beloved historic building, Library staff have been endlessly innov...

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Architectural Explorations

Restored Foyer rendering

Community Engagement with the Capital Improvement Project

Posted November 20, 2020. On this Page How you engage with and provide feedback on the Capital Improvement Project Architectural Explorations: Preserved Historic Spaces Architectural Explorations: Flexible New Spaces Design Explorations No design decisions have been made, and we lo...

Read More
CIP info

Executive Summary of the CIP through July 2020

Posted July 30, 2020. The Library Board and Library administration began working on the Library Capital Improvement Project in 2016. May 2017 marked the one-year anniversary of a new operational strategy for the Library, reflecting a more open and welcoming library created by loosening of lending rules and increasing invitations to come to the building for additional programming and community gatherings. The Library Board was interested both in learning the Lake Forest community’s opinion of this new operational strategy and better understanding how the Library building created challenges to its effectiveness.

Read More

 

Financials

Lake Forest Library Foundation

The Lake Forest Library Foundation creates an endowment

Posted November 15, 2021. A Generous Past and an Enduring Future for Lake Forest Library Lake Forest Library was built on philanthropy. By providing the funding for the construction of the 1931 building, Mrs. Charles H. Schweppe and Mrs. Stanley Keith gave generously in support of community lite...

Read More
CIP info

What we know about the CIP to date

Posted February 19, 2021. The Library will remain at the 360 East Deerpath Road location based on community input. The Library will undergo a significant renovation, addressing the aging and obsolete infrastructure, as well as the significant ADA challenges, in the existing 1931 Edwin Clark build...

Read More
CIP info

CIP Budget

Posted December 2, 2020. A comprehensive analysis, guided by principles of fiscal stewardship, yielded an all-inclusive budget for the Lake Forest Library Capital Project. This $24 million budget delivers a turn-key library that has been historically restored, expanded to accommodate new program ...

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Reports & Further Reading

CIP info

CIP Further Reading

Posted April 19, 2021. The Lake Forest Library Board acknowledges its important role and responsibility in stewarding the historic 1931 Edwin Hill Clark building and ensuring it can flourish as a public library for generations to come. The historic building is a cherished civic asset in Lake F...

Read More