GRIFFITH | The Lake County Public Library is about to turn the page on a new Griffith branch.
Plans are under way to close the existing 8,811-square-foot building on Broad Street and build a new 15,000-square-foot facility with a limestone exterior at the southwest corner of 45th Avenue and Colfax Street.
Ana Grandfield, director of the Lake County Public Library system, appeared before the Town Council last week to request a wavier of the customary development fee, which would save the library about $15,000.
The council said it will consider the waiver.
Councilman Stan Dobosz, D-5th, said the town is interested in acquiring the existing library building.
Contractor bids will be accepted starting next month, and the winner will be selected April 26, Grandfield said.
Construction could begin around May 1, and a grand opening is expected in November, she said.
In the meantime, the ground has been prepared for construction, Grandfield said.
With a much larger facility, there will be more books, recorded offerings and additional computers for the patrons, Grandfield said.
The plan is also to have a dedicated community meeting room and a dedicated children's room with programs for kids, Grandfield said.
The existing building was built in 1967, she said.
"When we build libraries, we want them to last 40 years," Grandfield said.
The architect is Carras-Kuhn & Associates P.C., of Schererville. The project will be overseen by The Skillman Corp., of Merrillville.
The new facility will include a fenced outdoor patio for some of the programs, more parking and a drive-through book return.
Grandfield said the grounds will fit right in with the town's landscape standards.
"It'll be a nice setting," she said.