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Library Expansion / Senior and Youth Services Relocation

The City of Highland Park (City) and the Highland Park Public Library (Library) are exploring an expansion of the Library to better meet the community demand for space and services as well as to improve parking and traffic flow. The City is also exploring relocation of its senior and youth services to the library campus as part of a new Community Campus. The multi-purpose, multi-generational, accessible facility will provide for dedicated space for library members, seniors, and youth and also for shared space opportunities.  Benchmarks for libraries in surrounding communities are included in the Project Information section under "Library Expansion Presentation".  

An agreement with Williams Architects was approved by the City Council at the April 24, 2017 meeting. The consultant is performing a formal needs assessment and providing architectural designs and preliminary engineering. Results from a needs assessment including public feedback compiled from six community engagement meetings throughout the summer and a community engagement survey, which was available July 1 - August 4, will be reported in the fall. 

In February 2017, the City and Library coordinated three meetings with area neighbors to review a possible expansion and solicit feedback. The inclusion of City services was the result of ongoing discussion and input by advisory groups, residents, the City and Library dating back to 2015.

The two properties immediately east of the Library located at 444 and 466 Laurel Avenue were purchased by the City of Highland Park. These adjacent properties would make a facility and/or parking expansion more feasible. The City Council approved the residential real estate contract at the October 24, 2016 City Council meeting for a total of $1.55 million.

Senior Services are currently housed at the Highland Park Senior Center at 54 Laurel Avenue. The facility is a renovated 1929 residential property that has posed several service challenges including parking limitations, accessibility issues within the facility and limited space for programming. The Senior Services Division provides more than 900 services throughout the year to the public.

Youth Services are currently housed in the Firehouse Youth Center located at 1830 Green Bay Road. The Firehouse is in need of significant capital improvement. The facility is a multi-purpose renovated fire station that includes an activity center, study room, counseling area, meeting room and staff offices.

January 8, 2018 Update
A discussion was held at the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 8, 2018 to prioritize and provide direction on the City’s possible capital infrastructure projects including the Ravinia Fire Station Redevelopment, the Library expansion, relocation of Youth Services, and relocation of Senior Services to a remodeled and expanded Highland Park Country Club facility. Although all of these projects are important, the Committee agreed that the Ravinia Fire Station should be advanced first in consideration of the public safety impact of the project. The City is assessing when the other projects could be carried out as part of the City’s Capital Improvement Plan, including projects that can be conducted in the short term, as well as phased-approach for the public facility initiatives.  Another discussion will be planned in March/April at a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss these next steps.  Residents interested in receiving an email when the meeting will be held are encouraged to contact the City Manager’s Office at cityhp@cityhpil.com

Williams Architects Presentation at the December 11, 2017 Regular Committee of the Whole Meeting

Project Information