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Local

Marengo-Union Library readies for renovation

MARENGO – Marengo-Union Library officials plan to start renovating their new and larger home along Grant Highway later this fall after recently receiving numerous bids for the project.

The library received 31 proposals from companies, with the lowest bids being within the library's $750,000 renovation budget, project manager Alan Armbrust said. The bids were unsealed Friday.

Armbrust now will review all 31 proposals, vet individual companies and make a recommendation to the Library Board during its upcoming meeting Sept. 24. If the plan goes accordingly, the renovation of the former Miceli drapery plant at 19714 E. Grant Highway would begin later this fall.

"We had a good representation in each bid package," Armbrust said. "The low end is exactly where the library had budgeted it to be."

A $543,715 state grant that Secretary of State Jesse White presented to library officials last month will pay for the majority of the renovation. The library already has enough money in its coffers to cover the remaining $206,285 in renovation costs, Library Director Mary Hanson said.

The former drapery plant, once renovated, will add three times the space than officials currently use at the library along State Street in Marengo. Using its existing budget, the library bought the plant for $1.2 million in 2011.

Officials also have not yet decided the launch date for a public fundraising campaign that would help pay for the furnishings and other amenities in the new library.

But officials have unveiled a website for the library's "Window to the Future" campaign. Interested donors can make pledges on their own by visiting www.windowtothefuturecampaign.com.

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