I am pleased to share an update on the improvements planned for the Jefferson Park Branch Library at 5363 W. Lawrence. As you may remember, 2018 participatory budgeting voters approved $175,000 for improvements to the library.
Earlier this year, my office secured $175,000 in Tax Increment Financing funds from the Jefferson Park TIF to finance the upgrades included in the participatory budgeting proposal. The Department of Fleet and Facility Management supplemented that with $100,000 from their budget. You may have seen some improvements as a result of that funding, including cleaning up the awning and critical structural updates.
Since then, my office has worked closely with both Fleet and Facility Management (2FM) and the Chicago Public Library (CPL) to take a more comprehensive look at the library and identify ways we can modernize and improve it. I am pleased to announce that because of these collaborative efforts, I was able to secure $1.5 million in funds from the Jefferson Park TIF to bring these additional improvements to our local library.
The $1.5 million will fund additional improvements to the structural integrity of the building, new flooring, a new electrical system, a new teen area, improvements to the kids’ area, improved lighting, improved ceilings, and improvements to the outdoor plaza area to make it more welcoming.
In the coming months, 2FM and the Library will finalize plans and timelines for the work. There will be a period of time when the library will close while improvements are being completed. Before these improvements are finalized and scheduled, we will host a community meeting to unveil the scope of the work, as well as the timeline for work to be completed.
I would like to thank 2FM and CPL for their ongoing partnership and support in improving our local library. These improvements continue to drive the ongoing revitalization efforts in Jefferson Park – which includes new businesses opening, a $25 million renovation to the Jefferson Park Transit Center, and continued private investment our community.