CROWN POINT | Construction of the new Crown Point Community Library will begin in early June thanks to action taken Monday by the City Council.
The council voted unanimously to approve a variance of use to construct the library at 122 N. Main St. The variance was sought because a library isn't part of the Crown Point zoning code, said Jeff Ban, project engineer with DVG Inc. of Merrillville, during the council meeting.
The variance won the approval of the Crown Point Board of Zoning Appeals at its April 25 meeting.
"It's been a long process. We started looking for a site eight years ago," said Lynn Frank, executive director of the Crown Point Community Library.
This final approval allows the library to stay downtown, Frank said.
Construction will take about 18 months and will cost "under $12 million," she said. The funding is provided by the library through property taxes it collects as a separate taxing unit. No municipal funds will be used, Frank said.
When completed, the new library will be a 2 1/2-story structure with nearly 47,000 square feet of space. The first two floors will have facilities not available before, Frank said, including more computers, a completely separate children's section, a teen area, an Internet cafe and three meeting rooms that can be combined to accommodate 250 people.
"We've never had meeting rooms before," she said.
The new library also will feature a children's program room, small study rooms, a self-checkout area and a drive-up book return.
The Skillman Group of Merrillville will provide construction management.
Design Organization of Valparaiso is the project architect and PSA Dewberry of Elgin, Ill., is providing library architectural consulting services.