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Genoa library closer to start construction

Published: Sunday, March 16, 2014 10:38 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, March 16, 2014 10:58 p.m. CDT

GENOA – The Genoa Public Library is one small step closer to construction with a recommendation in hand from the Genoa Plan Commission.

Library board members, director Jen Barton and architect Jennifer Betancourt presented artist renderings of the proposed new construction, while requesting a resubdivision of the four lots owned by the library at 232 and 240 W. Main St.

The current building is about 3,400 square feet and houses a collection of about 30,000 items, including DVDs, books and magazines. The new separate, stand-alone building will double the size of the library, Barton said. The new building will house the library’s collection and provide meeting space, and the two buildings will connect by a walkway.

Betancourt and the city’s economic development consultant, Joe Misurelli, fielded questions about the materials used for the building facade, a bike rack, parking and the Lincoln Highway mural on the side of the existing building.

“The Main Street organization has indicated they will move the mural,” Misurelli said, but he had no details as to where it would be moved. The commission unanimously approved the request, which ultimately must be approved by the Genoa City Council.

Betancourt, of Dewberry Architects Inc. in Elgin, said library board members have not approved colors for the exterior of the new building, but would make a decision at its meeting today.

No date has been set for groundbreaking for the new building, Barton said, as plans are still being finalized. She is hopeful construction will begin this spring.

Library board president Michele Dvorak said some layout for the building’s interior has been discussed, but said it’s all very preliminary.

“I’m not sure what the next steps are,” Dvorak said. “I’m a novice at building projects like this.”

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