Wilmette Public Library Parking Lot to Get Facelift

Library hopes to start construction during summer and complete it by late August.

Wilmette trustees recently gave the green light for the Wilmette Public Library to reconstruct its parking lot.

This is the first of two approvals the library needs before it can reconstruct the parking lot at 1242 Wilmette Avenue. The library still needs approval from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago before it can put the project out for bid.

“We would like to have this happen in late summer when our use is lower and before school gets in gear,” said Ellen Clark, executive director, Wilmette Public Library.

Reconstructing a Sustainable Parking Lot

Over the past 18 years, the parking lot has been patched and repaired, but Clark says it’s time to improve the parking lot, which currently slants toward the building.

“We want to flatten out (the parking lot) so the water doesn’t flow toward the building,” Clark said.

The new parking lot will still have 51 spaces and no major changes are planned except for the material used.

The library plans to spend some $300,000 to reconstruct the lot using permeable paving materials, which absorb rain and melted snow.

“Even though it’s more expensive, permeable pavers are a greener more sustainable solution than black asphalt,” Clark said. “It permits more of the water to drain back down into the ground through the cracks in the pavers instead of flowing all out to the streets and storm sewers.”

May Reduce Library Programming

The project is expected to take between three to four weeks once construction starts, according to Clark.

The library will provide a 30-day notice to the community once the project has been approved and a contractor selected.

During construction, Clark says the library may reduce programming to ease the need for parking spaces.

“We are trying to choose a time when a lot of people go out of town,” Clark said of the project. “We are hopeful that there will be enough on-street parking. If not, we may reach out to businesses around us.”

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Willie Wilmette May 03, 2012 at 01:51 PM
This would be a good time to make the lot available only to paying customers. The last time I checked, it was full &1/3 of the cars were from Evanston & beyond. This is probably because Evanston has metered parking, so it is cheaper for them to fill up our lot.
Chi-an Chang May 03, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Thanks for sharing your thought Willie Wilmette!


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