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Downers Grove Public Library Foundation to contribute $200k to interior renovation project

DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Public Library Foundation will donate $200,000 to enhance the Downers Grove Public Library’s upcoming interior renovation project, it announced Thursday.

The additional funding will support a new "Mouse House" in the children’s area, a new and expanded Teen Space, a Media Lab, and new "inviting" features at the north and south entrances of the building.

“We are thrilled to be able to make this gift," Foundation President Susan Eblen stated in a press release. "Our mission is to support the library in ways that go beyond what is possible using normal public funding, and we believe these extra-special spaces will make the library an even more attractive destination for everyone in the community.”

Eblen is also a library board member.

The Foundation has accumulated the funds for the gift during a 15-year period.
Individual gifts, bequests, and memorials, fundraising events including Library Mini Golf, and successful long-term investments have made the donation possible, according to a press release.

The $200,000 gift is the second-largest contribution ever given to the library. A century ago, the Carnegie Foundation donated $11,000 ($260,000 in today’s dollars) for the construction of the Curtiss Street building that served Downers Grove from 1915 until 1977.

Construction will begin April 1 and continue for about six months.

Last month, the second round of construction bids interior renovation project successfully came in under budget.

Several firms competed in all 10 construction specialty areas. The construction budget estimate, compiled by construction management firm Shales McNutt, was $1,714,477.
The combined total of the ten apparent low bids was $1,711,172, a margin of 0.2 percent, according to the library.

The library board chose to rebid the project after the low bids in the first attempt came in over budget in December.

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