MARENGO – The long-awaited move to a larger facility begins Monday for the Marengo-Union Library, as staff and volunteers will work to set up their new home for an early September opening.
The massive move of books, materials and furniture from the library’s State Street building in downtown Marengo means the library will be closed, starting Monday. It likely will remain closed until the week of Sept. 8, when the staff are slated to reopen at the new library along Grant Highway in Marengo.
The transition marks the end of a three-year building project that officially began in summer 2011, when the library acquired its future home, the former Miceli drapery plant, 19714 E. Grant Highway, for $1.2 million.
“Everyone is really excited to have a lot more space and be able to provide more for the community,” said Library Director Kevin Drinka, whose involvement with the project started earlier this year after former director Mary Hanson retired.
The 20,000-square-foot retrofitted plant is about three times larger than the library’s longtime home at 200 S. State St., which it has occupied since 1991. Construction on $750,000 in renovations to the former plant began over the winter.
Secretary of State Jesse White and his office, which manages the state’s libraries, also helped the Marengo-Union Library cover renovation costs with a $543,715 grant awarded last year.
The move into the new facility will happen in stages, with staff and nearly 50 volunteers tasked with packing the library’s collection first and then unloading and organizing the books at the Grant Highway location.
Furniture and other larger items will be moved into the new building later this month, Drinka said.
Although the library will be closed during the three-week move, residents can still return rented materials at drop-off locations at either library building, Drinka said.
Officials are also planning a grand opening celebration in October that will feature activities for the community at the new facility.