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If You Build It, They Will Come


Last Monday, Alderman Silverstein convened a community meeting that drew an overflow attendance.  Held at Warren Park, the meeting featured the team responsible for the design, construction  and  operation of the new Northtown branch library which will open December 2018 at the northwest corner of Pratt and Western.


The Chicago Housing Authority is responsible for the funding and construction of the new building, which will also include 30 much-needed apartments for the elderly.


Brief presentations were made by key members of Perkins+Will Architects; Eugene Jones, CEO of the CHA, and library staff, who then fielded questions by community residents. 


The current, 63-year-old Northtown branch, with limited facilities and no accommodation for parking, has the seventh-largest patronage and the tenth-largest circulation of all the 79 CPL branches.  This is especially noteworthy considering the out-moded state of the facility.  WRP has long deserved an up-to-date library with all the amenities that make modern libraries crucial components of a healthy community.


JCCWRP was a founding member of LEARN West Rogers Park, a diverse coalition that successfully advocated for a new, state-of-the-art-library for our neighborhood.  Initially a LEARN WRP petition for a new facility garnered over 2,000 signatures.  LEARN WRP subsequently put out a survey to the community to gauge preferences for services to be offered by the new library.  At Monday’s meeting, Alderman Silverstein urged residents who have filled out the LEARN survey to also respond to her 50th Ward survey that includes some additional questions.  She emphasized that responding to both is important since Input will affect design, space utilization and programming.


The turnout at the recent community meeting was just another example of how energized our community is in its quest to improve the neighborhood we call home.


Thanks are due to Alderman Silverstein for bringing this community dream to reality.  I know that I speak for JCCWRP in saying that we look forward to partnering with the Alderman to make further progress in assuring  the future of WRP for generations to come.


I urge you to make your voice heard by filling out one or both of the surveys that will influence the development of this historic upgrade to our community.

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