Could Sixth Street School Be Library's Next Site?

Interim library director advocates coming up with a building plan.

The former Sixth Street School is the present office of the Kane County Regional Office of Education.
The former Sixth Street School is the present office of the Kane County Regional Office of Education.
The Geneva Library Board is trying to figure out what it wants to do with its "right of first refusal" to buy the former Sixth Street School property.

According to a report in the Kane County Chronicle, the Library Board on Thursday heard a report by Michael Mackey of Dewberry Architects suggesting that the library have a "building program" in place — just in case Kane County is ready to sell the property, which presently serves as offices of the Kane County Regional superintendent of schools.

In September, the Library Board voted 6-0 not to pursue the former Cetron property. Moving the library to that site had been the board's long-range plan for the past three years.

But the library has held onto the right of first refusal to the Sixth Street School site at 210 South Sixth St. as a backup. Board member Pat Lord told the Chronicle that Kane County recently has been "asking about our commitment" to purchasing the property.

Mackey recommended that the board start interviewing library staff members, defining space needs and figuring out the square footage that would be necessary for a new library.

Interim Library Director Marilyn Boria, a former director of the Elmhurst Library who was hired Wednesday as part-time director while Library Director Matt Teske makes the transition to assistant director, said the creation of a building program was an essential first step.

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Lisa P January 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM
It sounds like Michael Mackey from the architecture firm is driving the bus here... gee, I wonder why. With two other great library facilities- Batavia and St. Charles - in the immediate area, why are we still kicking this dead horse?
Bob McQuillan January 24, 2014 at 06:53 PM
Is there a building plan from when they were considering the Cetron property? Maybe there should be a referendum asking the taxpayers if they support building a new library before any money is spent on buying a location. Do residents really want another 40+ million in debt?
Jeff Golden January 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM
What's wrong with the current location? I love the current location and agree with Bob, do we really want to take on more debt for this?
Bob Engel January 25, 2014 at 10:47 AM
I think the current location lacks space for growth and the parking is terrible. Also, the city would probably like to take over the current library location so there could be some transfer of funds there. The Sixth Street location would keep the library downtown while not impacting 3rd St. traffic and parking.
Jeff Golden January 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM
I've heard the parking argument before but have personally never experienced it in my 8 years living in Geneva. Honestly I walk much further after parking at any store on Randall Rd and besides its actually good for us to walk! As for growth. Is the current library space not meeting the library's needs? It could be but I don't notice that and I believe libraries are trending smaller not larger due to many items being available and preferred by many digital.
michelle January 25, 2014 at 12:38 PM
When I moved here I couldn't believe that was the library. Don't get me wrong it is a nice library but it needs space. I would like to be able to take my kids and let them have more room to play. I would like a drive up box. I do go more to the Batavia one because there is more room for the kids to play, read and a bigger selection. If it isn't in the budget maybe it isn't the right time yo expand but I do think it would be great to make it more like Batavia library. I think more people who live in the area would go more often. For me with two little ones I sign up for the classes for them but I do go to Batavia more often for them to be able to move and not feel so closed in
Koshka January 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM
I love libraries. I also don't think my fellow taxpayers should pay for things I want like a new library with features that please me and my children.
Koshka January 25, 2014 at 12:55 PM
Need space to play? The park district already bought you that.
Colin C. January 27, 2014 at 01:54 PM
There have been a number of articles in the popular press about the future of public libraries in the electronic age. Right now our library consists of mostly books with a fair amount of digital resource available for loan and a few public use computers. It seems that this pattern will change drastically in the next few years. I certainly do not know what the public library will look like or how it will be used twenty five years from now but I really hope that our library board has a very good idea of that before they make any proposals.
Bob Engel January 27, 2014 at 02:43 PM
One would think they had a plan in place when the Cetron property was being considered. If not we may well ask what the board and director have been doing for 5 years. The board should have an idea of whether or not the city wants the library property and what the valuation is by now and our neighbors in Batavia confronted all those questions about the future just a few years ago.


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