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Fountaindale admin: Studio 300 to open in September

BOLINGBROOK – Administrators hope to reopen Fountaindale Public Library’s state-of-the-art digital media center Studio 300 in late September, Executive Director Paul Mills said.

Formerly housed in the library’s lower level, library staff temporarily relocated Studio 300 classes and equipment to a third-floor room after April floods damaged the audio recording studios, carpeting, dry wall, insulation, furniture and one piece of equipment – a multiuse, video recording TriCaster.

In all, the floods caused about $600,000 in damage and repair costs, said Mills, adding that Fountaindale has received $477,000 in insurance money, with more expected to come as construction nears completion.

The library also received a $25,000 grant from the Illinois Library Association to cover a $25,000 insurance deductible, Mills said.

Library administration has hired Development Solutions, Inc., – the same Chicago-based construction services company that built Studio 300 – to handle the renovation.

While construction is ongoing, Mills said the process is slowed because of the long lead time associated with the studio’s custom fixtures.

“The construction entails replacing the custom millwork, custom carpeting and replacing the sound-proofed walls of the audio studio,” Mills said. “The products don’t come off the shelves, each element is a custom fabrication built for Studio 300.”

While they wait for the arrival and installment of the fixtures, officials still are trying to pinpoint the exact cause of the flood, he said. Although the insurance company soon will submit a report on its findings, Fountaindale is conducting an investigation as well.

“We have hired multiple experts to see if there is a building flaw or if the flood was caused by the slope of the land or the sump pump,” Mills said. “Everyone is in agreement that, during the flood, water came up from underneath – through the concrete slabs and sump pits – spreading throughout the lower level.”

Construction, investigation and insurance claims aside, it’s business as usual for Fountaindale Studio Services Manager Jeffrey Fisher and the Studio 300 staff.

The temporary digital media studio is in the library’s third floor quiet reading room and features Mac computer stations, a TriCaster, cameras, a portable green screen and converter equipment. The adjacent small computer lab also is being used to host Studio 300 programming.

“It has been an adjustment, but program attendance is up,” Fisher said. “In May and June, Studio 300 programming experienced an 80 percent increase from previous months. We are looking forward to continued progress through the summer and moving back into the lower level in September.”

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