If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Evans Public Library is just more than halfway from reaching its goal of $300,000 by June in order to reach the requirements for a grant to build a new facility.
Jessica Blain, director of the library, reports the project was initially much larger than what it is today. When submitted, she says, the library district had set the building set at 25,000 square feet with a cost in excess of $6 million. Afterwards, the project was scaled back to 15,000 square feet, a little over twice the current space at the present location. The price was also reduced to $4.8 million.
Blain says plans for the expansion began prior to her arrival at the library in 2007, and since, the board has been talking about pursuing plans for the expansion, and being ready to proceed. Immediately after this process began, the State of Illinois provided funding for such projects through grants. On the first application for one of the grants, the library was in the top ten which were declared eligible for a grant, but once funding was released, beginning with the top submitted application, none was left by the time it was Evans Library’s turn, according to Blain.
She continued that last year, the library had submitted an application again, and this time, was notified that it would receive $3.4 million, 71 percent of the total project cost. That left just less than $1.4 million to raise for the project.
With a significant gift of $500,000 by the Old Capital Foundation, another of a $100,000 pledge by First National Community Bank, and with money which had been earmarked for the project over the years, only $300,000 was left to be raised by June 30, the state deadline for raising the funds.
Bricks are also being sold for the building as a fund raiser, and straight donations are also being taken.
The plans for the new facility call for more space for books, a large meeting room and other improvements. The grant also includes some funding for furnishings for the larger building.
The library was built in 1960, after Mr. and Mrs. Charles Evans donated $100,000 to the cost of the project. In 2002, voters approved the creation of a library district, to help provide revenue for operations. There are seven trustees on the board who govern the library district.
Once the June deadline hits, paperwork must be completed and turned in, then the state will need to approve the project, and it will be put out for bid.
The land for the new building was also donated by Mr. and Mrs. Evans.
With the fund being so close to reaching completion, Blain says that the goal will be obtained.
“I’m not sure what we will do, but we will make it happen somehow,” she said.