By Bob Uphues
The village of Riverside on June 18 oversaw the sale of $1.5 million in construction bonds earmarked for the renovation of the Riverside Public Library's lower level, and that money ought to be in the hands of library officials during the first half of July, according to Library Director Janice Foley.
"The architect has the plans ready for the project to be put out to bid," Foley said. "If all goes well, by the end of August or beginning of September we'll be ready to start."
For library officials the work will be the realization of more than two years of planning and fundraising to overhaul the lower level, which houses the Youth and Teen Services departments, the genealogy research section and the library's primary public meeting room.
The library had been able to raise about $220,000 over two years through special events and other avenues. That money largely went to fund the build out of the new Early Learners Area in the southwest corner of the lower level, and it served as an illustration of the library's plans as officials sought voter approval of the bond sale in March.
Riverside voters approved the bond referendum by a whopping 73 percent to 27 percent margin. The $1.5 million will go toward the creation of a storytime/multipurpose room, a common area for Children/Youth Services, a separate Teen Room and an area for middle schoolers.
The Public Meeting Room will be enlarged so that it can be divided in order to accommodate more than one program at a time.