$20 million Bloomington Public Library renovations being discussed, comes with tax increase

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — For the first time since the construction of the Olive Street building in the 70s, Bloomington Public Library is looking to undertake a major renovation.

Monday night, library directors presented a $20.8 million addition to its current downtown building. Staff also presented an option that features a parking deck and would cost an additional $2 million.

To fund the project, the library has saved $4 million in its reserves and is asking for another $1.75 million in donations. The rest will be funded through either $15 million or $17 million in tax bonds depending on which plans get chosen upon.

This means taxpayers will either pay an extra $29.14 in taxes or $32.05 to fund the project.

Jeanne Hamilton, library director, said it’s the first major upgrade to the building since its construction in 1976 and the community has grown so much to where the current building isn’t enough.

“At the time, our population was only 40,000 people and in the time since then our population has grown about 92% and we’ve only had one small renovation that increased the space by 24%, so we’re really undersized for our community,” Hamilton said.

The next steps include a public hearing and action on the bond in November and construction would start in April.

Hamilton said the project would provide additional spaces for the community and library programming.

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