Construction on interim main library branch starts May 1

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some big changes involving major construction projects are coming to downtown Rockford affecting the more than 300,000 people who use the main library branch each year.

Construction starts May 1 on what will soon be the temporary library location for several years as the branch on Wyman St. is torn down and rebuilt. It will take about six months to get the temporary location ready. It will be just down the street at the former Hart building at the corner of Church and Jefferson. Once that opens the main library will be torn down so ComEd can clean up toxic soil. That will take up to two years, and then construction of the new library at the same site will take another two years.

"I think you're going to see some nice open spaces, you're going to see a lot of conference rooms, gathering spaces, it will certainly have a children’s room, it's going to have a local history room, genealogy dimension to the local history room. We will be able to expand our databases, we'll be able to maintain a good sized collection," Paul Logli, President of the Rockford Public Library Board, said.

As for what the outside of the new library will look like, it will be up to us. The library plans to hold public meetings about the future design.

The project will cost about $35 million, paid for by ComEd. The library will have to buy some items for the new space like furniture and equipment, but fundraising will pay for those upgrades.