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Aurora downtown library gets $10 million grant from state

Artist rendering planned new  AurorPublic Library.

Artist rendering of the planned new Aurora Public Library.

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Updated: February 26, 2013 6:35AM

AURORA — The Aurora Public Library has been awarded a $10.8 million state grant for construction of the new downtown library.

The $10.8 million will be applied to the $28 million cost of the new library, to be constructed at the former site of The Beacon-News at River and Benton streets. Construction is set to begin this spring.

“This grant will lower the bond debt for the construction of the new library, thereby lowering the amount Aurora city property taxpayers will contribute toward the new library and other improvements to the library system,” Eva Luckinbill, executive director of the library, said Thursday.

Jeffry Butler, president of the Library Board, said he had been cautiously optimistic about the possibility of the grant since the library made the application last April.

“I can honestly say that the new Main Library and receiving the grant is the highlight of my tenure on the board,” said Butler. “... I am really looking forward to breaking ground and seeing the building start to take shape.”

The new, 92,000-square-foot Main Library will be built on land that was purchased by the library in 2009. Cordogan Clark & Associates was chosen as the architectural firm for the project in 2010. R.C. Wegman Construction Company will be the construction management firm, Schoppe Design Associates will be the landscape architect and KDI Design Interiors will be the interior design firm.

The current Main Library at Benton Street and Stolp Avenue opened in 1904 and was built with a $50,000 grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The building was expanded in 1969.

Once the new building is completed, the current library building is expected to be sold. The city of Aurora has the first right of refusal to purchase the property.

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