Renovations were completed at the end of April, 2015.


As part of the library’s continuous effort to improve services to the community, the library underwent a renovation to the first floor meeting rooms and auditorium.

Dewberry, an Elgin based architecture firm, lead the renovation.  As seen it its current list of projects (a few local projects in Deerfield and Glenview), Dewberry has developed a unique specialty in library renovations. Pepper Construction was the construction management company that has been retained to oversee the construction. They were involved with the library renovations in 1999/2000 and 2009.

The renovation addressed some of the concerns and interests that arose in our last two community surveys:

  • Better technology in meeting rooms for presentations
  • Installation of RF Hearing Assistance Systems and other ADA enhancements
  • Digital Projection System for movies presentations
  • Comfortable theater style seating in auditorium
  • Improved acoustics in meeting rooms and auditorium
  • HVAC improvements

Initial Timeline:

  • Late February, 2014 - Bid documents are anticipated to be available
  • Early March, 2014 - Pre-bid meeting
  • Late March, 2014 - Public bid opening
  • April 2014 Board Meeting - Approve contractors to work on project
  • Late April, 2014 - Construction begins
  • Late March, 2015 – Estimated project completion date

Proposed Construction Phasing Timeline

Phase 1A – Auditorium – April 2014 to December 2014

Phase 1B – East & West Vestibule – June 2014 to September 2014

Phase 2 – HVAC & Carpet – 2nd floor - July 2014 to October 2014

Phase 3 – North Vestibule – Technical Services – September 2014

Phase 4 – Site Work – Parking Lot – October 2014 to November 2014

Phase 5 – Lobby – January 2015 to March 2015


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Did the project enlarge the building?
A. Yes. The building’s overall size increased 1882 square feet. The expansion was kept within the current footprint of the Library.

Q. Who decided to do this project?
A. The Northbrook Public Library Board of Trustees, the citizen body responsible for the governance of the library, had been planning this for several years. Beginning in 2012, the Library Board started the formal planning process for this project. One of the major outcomes embodied in this project is a commitment to enhancing the library building and its contents as an attractive destination for the community.

Q. How much did it cost?
A. The Library Board has allocated $6,500,000 for the project. This paid for planning, design, construction, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

Q. Where did the money coming from?
A. Bonds were issued in July 2013 to pay for the renovation project.

Q. What would have happened if the project goes over budget?
A. Rigorous professional cost estimates were part of the design process. As the Library Board reviewed each phase of the design, it evaluated the estimates to make sure that the project could actually be carried out. In addition, contingency allowances were incorporated into the detailed construction and equipment budgets. These safeguards enabled the project’s managers to respond to unforeseen conditions. If some element of the project was too expensive, it was not done.

Q. Were property taxes increased to pay for this project?
A. Yes, due to the increase in debt.

Q. Who is working on this project?
A. Dewberry, an Elgin based architecture firm, was chosen by the Library Board following a rigorous competitive process. The architects’ experience with library renovation was a key factor in their selection.  Pepper Construction of Barrington, Illinois, was selected as Construction Manager by the Library Board. The construction management firm carried out the approved design and was responsible for selecting and supervising subcontractors and vendors. In addition, library staff continued their deep involvement.

Q. Was the library closed during construction?
A. Library meeting rooms and auditorium were not available for public use after March, 2014 and some area were temporally closed for safety concerns. The library did have to close all day or part of a day due to construction work; these days numbered fewer than 5 over the course of construction.

Q. Did any unforeseen issues arose during the design process?
A. Yes. During the construction manager review of the schematic design documents, Pepper determined that a major overhaul to the HVAC system was needed to be in compliance with code. The cost related to the HVAC overhaul was approximately $1,000,000.