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Book it: Library Board makes case for new building

By Linda Girardi For The Beacon-News March 11, 2012 6:52PM

Updated: March 12, 2012 2:16AM

AURORA — With more than 500,000 patrons visiting each year, the downtown Aurora Public Library has outlived its life, library officials said.

“It is one of the most heavily used buildings in the city,” said Eva Luckinbill, library executive director. “Technology has overtaken the people space.”

On Sunday, citizens had an opportunity to participate in the discussion of the latest plans for a new 97,000-square foot main library proposed at the old Beacon-News site at River and Benton streets.

The 1904 Andrew Carnegie-funded library originally cost $50,000 to build and last underwent renovation in 1969.

John Savage, a member of the Aurora Public Library Board, said while an analysis of space limitations of the existing 44,000-square foot facility began years ago, the development phase of a “comprehensive improvement plan” for the entire municipal library system began two years ago.

The Library Board has met with the community’s aldermen and government entities to form the plan, and they want to continue to hear the voice of the public.

The Library Board is seeking City Council approval of a $30 million bond issue for the project. If it is funded entirely by bonds, the cost to the owner of a $200,000 home would be approximately $28 in additional property taxes per year.

Savage said the existing municipal library has extensive structural issues.

The facility, with lower,

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