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Woolpert Celebrates Grand Opening of Renovated Lisle Library District in Chicago Suburbs

CHICAGO, IL — The Lisle Library District recently celebrated its grand opening following a yearlong renovation led by Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects. The renovation included new entryways, revitalized interiors, new outdoor seating, and a drive-up service window. This was the first major renovation for the library, located 25 miles west of Chicago, since 2008. Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects was acquired by Woolpert in 2022.

“We completely reorganized the public spaces within the existing library building,” said Woolpert Architect Don McKay, a Principal at SNHA. “This included relocating youth services to the ground floor to make it welcoming and accessible. We also relocated the main building entry and added a secondary entry, both of which are marked by new entry portals, to improve internal circulation and to leverage existing parking spaces that were underutilized because of their remote locations.”

The library was established in 1965, has close to 500,000 items borrowed each year, and reaches more than 26,000 patrons annually with its events, programming, and classes. To ensure all desired upgrades could be made within budget, architects reimagined the library within the limits of the existing building footprint and incorporated the library’s furniture into the new design.

“The goal was to create a design where the existing furniture seamlessly blended in with the new surroundings, and I’m happy to say we achieved that,” Woolpert Architect Magda Hebal said. “It’s the same furniture, yet the entire library looks so new and refreshed.”

The renovation included a new outdoor area to expand visitor seating and space for library programming, a drive-up service window for easy pickups and drop-offs, new and renovated restrooms on both levels of the library, and study rooms with updated technology. McKay said the customized interior design drew inspiration from the surrounding environment and community.

“We revitalized library interiors through an interior design strategy rooted in the community’s love of its local Morton Arboretum,” he said. “Interior finishes and materials reflect the changing of the seasons, which gives library interiors the warmth, variety, and unity that was previously lacking.”

Lisle Library District Board President Marjorie Bartelli said the board appreciated the attention to detail and the aesthetic yet functional design. “On behalf of the Lisle Library District, I congratulate the SNHA team for a beautifully designed, fully renovated public library,” she said.

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