EDGEWATER — For the past two years, Ald. Harry Osterman said his kids have wondered when they would be able to go back to Edgewater's library.
On Saturday, when the two-story, $13.6 million library opens to the public, the wait will be over.
"I'm incredibly pleased," the 48th Ward alderman said after walking through the building this week. "It's beautiful."
The old library's material has been in storage since the building was demolished to make way for the new building, and workers were loading books onto shelves Tuesday afternoon.
Osterman said neighbors can "feel the change on Broadway," as only a block away a new Walgreens and an LA Fitness are near completion.
A grand opening event for the 16,300-square-foot library is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in the library's parking lot, at 6000 N. Broadway St., after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"It's fantastic," said Joanna Hazelden, the branch's new manager, who felt lucky to work in the city's first new library to open since 2011.
Hazelden said the Edgewater branch went from about 10 computers to 54, and it will get another librarian dedicated to teen programming.
With the addition of a second floor, the branch has an additional community room and $500,000 in more material, said Patrick Molloy, a spokesman for Chicago Public Library.
He said the new library will replace the old branch, built in 1973, and the city bought the lot next door to make room for the expansion.
Most of the funding for the library came from a city bond, while $1.12 million was taken from the Hollywood-Sheridan tax increment financing district.
The alderman's office expects Walgreens to open in July and for the LA Fitness to open in the former Hancock Fabric store by the end of the year.