HUMBOLDT PARK — After being closed for nearly a year, the Humboldt Park Library will reopen Saturday morning with a shiny new 5,000-square-foot addition featuring "a bright and welcoming new reading room."
This is the first major renovation for the library, located at 1605 N. Troy St., since it was built in 1996. The addition makes the library more than a third larger at 18,000 square feet.
Some $4.5 million in TIF funds were allocated for the project back in 2011, which covered about $2.4 million in construction costs, plus costs for site preparation and land acquisition, according to Chicago Public Library spokeswoman Ruth Lednicer.
Other new additions to the library include expanded shelving for teen materials and a YOUMedia digital learning area for teens designed to "connect young adults with books, media, mentors and institutions throughout the City of Chicago to inspire collaboration and creativity."
The YOUMedia center was sponsored by Boeing and Motorola, and any additional costs came out of library funds, Lednicer said.
"It was thrilling to walk in there the other day and see the wall where the library used to end and see a third more space," she said.
The addition was built to LEED standards with a rain-harvesting system for irrigation, according to the Public Building Commission.
The library will open at its normal 9 a.m. time, but then at 11 a.m. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was scheduled to lead a ribbon-cutting ceremony, but will be attending the funeral of slain teen Hadiya Pendleton.
Events will be scheduled throughout the day to help kids to learn how to use the new technology. Events include a "Mad Science" lab from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Northwestern University FUSE STEM projects from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and "crazy chemical concoctions" from 1-2 p.m.