Lansing Library outdoor renovations near completion

by Jennifer Yos

LANSING, Ill. (August 23, 2018) – Library patrons and passersby may have witnessed an assortment of construction cones, warning tape, and machinery in front of the Lansing Public Library for the past eight weeks. All of the outside construction and landscaping activity has resulted in greener and more patron-friendly entrances to the library, and Library Director Debbie Albrecht is pleased that the main entrance “no longer looks like an airport runway.”

July 19, 2018 (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
August 23, 2018 (Photo: Jennifer Yos)

Specific improvements to the main entrance include:

  • A narrower walkway with less concrete that otherwise would have been too costly to repair
  • Landscaping additions
  • A handicap ramp in place of the stairs that connected the library entryway with parking along School Street
  • Benches and chaise chairs for patrons who want to enjoy the outdoors
  • A new flagpole with an up-to-date system that makes it easier to raise and lower the flag
  • New lawn lights and streetlights

In addition, the memorial bricks have been moved out of the walkway and now surround the base of the flagpole. The bricks had become uneven as the walkway aged and were a potential tripping hazard.

The library memorial bricks now surround the base of the flagpole. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
Chaise chairs give patrons a place to sit outside and read. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Contemporary desk benches give patrons an outdoor place to work, read, or socialize. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
The steps leading from School Street to the upstairs library entrance have been replaced with a gradually sloping walkway. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)

Improvements were also made to the back of the library and to the courtyard:

  • A new sidewalk to the courtyard entrance was created so young after-school patrons can use the courtyard to socialize and wind down before entering the library.
  • Oversized concrete planters in the courtyard were removed to make more room for picnic tables and more space for courtyard activities.
  • Stairs in the back that led up to the neighboring church parking lot were redone.
After-school student visitors now have easy access to the library courtyard, which has been refurnished for socializing. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)

The entire project cost $200,000, which came out of the library’s general funds. Bids were taken, and Dan Eallonarto of Independent Construction Services was hired as overseer. Eallonarto works exclusively with libraries and has worked with the Lansing Public Library for the past 6–7 years.

The project also included the hiring of a contractor, landscape architect, and landscaper. Local landscaper Greg Ambrose has a history with the library—landscaping it after construction, again in 2012, and now for this current project.

Work began in mid-July and is largely finished, though Albrecht lists a few items that remain: “We still need fill-in and sod in many areas, railing on the back stairs, and installation of new outdoor lights in the front. We are also awaiting the delivery of the last 10 engraved bricks for the flagpole area. It will be mid-September before every little thing is done! Always takes longer than you hope!”

Nevertheless, Albrecht is pleased with the outside renovations because they are “useful for folks and make it pleasant to be here.”

The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue. Visit www.lansingpl.org for more information.

 

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