Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A summary of last week's library meeting.

Apologies for not posting this sooner.

This is from CAPCC blog's summary of the library meeting, which was fairly accurate (I was also at the meeting).

We, at the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, had the pleasure of attending the Facilities Committee Board of Directors meeting at the Whitney Young Branch of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) at 7901 South King Drive.

Ms. Mary Dempsey, Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library System, presided over the meeting which was fully attended by members of the Chatham community. The new building project for the Whitney Young Branch was discussed thoroughly by the committee.

Right now the final closing on the laundromat at the corner of 79Th & Vernon has not been finalized, so the parcel covering the area from 79Th Street to the alley and from Vernon Avenue to King Drive will be used as the foundation for the new building.

Concern was raised about have the new library as a 2-story structure. Ms. Dempsey was adamant about have it as a one-story with an all-new prototype that looks like two stories but will cover more than 14,000 square feet (with a budget of $14,000,000.00) with enough room for a children's center and adult reference sections, and space for a parking lot, the library itself, and a reading garden and with an entrance facing King Drive. No demolition date as been set because the final lot under the laundromat as not yet been fully acquired by the Public Buildings Commission of Chicago, then by the City and then given to the Chicago Public Library. But because of safety and disposal problems with the former Tropical Chicken site, there may the demolition first of that site all the way up to the present library (since that is now CPL property) for the time being to address the unsightliness complaints of the residents nearby, including the broken-down garage and trash from an overturned dumpster in the rear of the former beauty supply store site.

Top of the line and state of the art high technology facilities including 4G (4Th Generation) broadband and multiple access points for WI-FI and flat panel computers for children and adults will be offered in the new building. There will also be ample space for auditorium and artist presentations. The architect for the site will be selected by the Public Buildings Commission of Chicago by competitive bidding process. The contractor has not been chosen at this time. Once the Public Buildings Commission as decided on a final prototype, the Commissioner of the CPL will reach out to the Alderwoman of the 6Th Ward to call for public hearings on the architectural design for members of the community to discuss.

Dates for such hearings have not yet been set.

We strongly urge all of our residents, members, and viewers to write to the CPL Commissioner to express their views on having a 2-story structure at: Chicago Public Library Commissioner's Office, 10N, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605.
I will post my own thoughts on it, which may seem contradictory to today's earlier post. There's just way too much to settle for a mere comment

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