Glendale — Unlike most 30-year-olds, the North Shore Library is ready for a facelift.
The North Shore Library is organizing a 30th birthday party on May 21 with food, entertainment and some light brainstorming on potential renovations. Members of the North Shore Library Board will offer guided tours of the library, pointing out the library's need for new carpeting, a larger children's area and more work spaces to catch up to the latest library standards. Pictures of modern libraries will be on display at the event to illustrate the North Shore Library's possibilities.
'This is an opportunity to show the community where we'd like to go, and where other communities have already gone,' North Shore Library Director Susan Draeger-Anderson said.
Draeger-Anderson hopes to hire a building program consultant in early summer to develop an assessment of the library's needs. The consultants will work with library stakeholders and hold community forums to develop a rough gameplan for renovations.
By late fall, Draeger-Anderson hopes to hire an architect that will execute that gameplan. The architect will also hold community forums to get the public's feedback on the library renovations.
Draeger-Anderson's hope is to begin construction in 2017 and complete the project in 2018 — assuming funds are available. Fundraising efforts are already underway, with the assumption that a mix of private and public funds will be used, Draeger-Anderson said. A project cost is not available at the moment, but several architects have estimated it will cost between $3 million and $4 million to renovate the 16,000-square-foot space.
The North Shore Library has been located on the first floor of a four-story office building since May 1986. When Cardinal Stritch University sold the land to a developer, a provision of the sale required the developer to grant 15,000 square feet of space to the city of Glendale for community use. The library has been renting that space from Glendale for $1 per year, but has been renting an additional 1,000 square feet of space from the building owner. Elected officials in Glendale, Fox Point, Bayside and River Hills recently agreed to purchase that 1,000 square feet of space.
The 30th birthday bash will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, in the parking lot of North Shore Library, 6800 N. Port Washington Road. A cake-cutting ceremony will be held at noon with local government officials.
With help from a $2,000 donation from Waterstone Bank, the event will feature pony rides, a jump house and carnival games. The North Shore Fire Department will have a fire truck on display, and Sprecher's Restaurant and Pub will have its own fire truck on hand to pour beer for adults. Food will be provided by Sprecher's, Dr. Dawg and Eddie's E.A.T. Concessions.