The capital campaign for the new library building has extended its fundraising deadline to December.

The public phase of the campaign kicked off on Valentine’s Day and generated a significant amount of excitement, library director Jennifer Endres Way said during a joint library and village board meeting Monday, June 15. Community events, fundraising activities and presentations were set, she said.

But the COVID-19 pandemic pushed all that back – in-person events were canceled or postponed so her staff could focus on still providing resources even though the library closed down.

The meeting among trustees had been set last year to determine the next steps for the new library’s budget, but now, staff will wait to revisit design and construction plans, meaning the project remains at Step 4 as outlined in the Library Board’s memorandum of understanding with the village. Instead, trustees used the meeting to once again generate momentum about campaign fundraising.

Endres Way said total funds raised so far, including the village’s $6 million contribution, come out to $7 million, including $1.2 million from the capital campaign. The project was estimated to cost $10 million overall, with $4 million coming from the capital campaign.

Once the campaign reaches that $4 million goal, the project would enter Step 5, which is establishing a final budget, including donations, impact feed and planned gifts.

Once the campaign enters Step 6, the Library Board will contract for and proceed with final engineering and architectural work necessary to publicly bid the project and construct the building.

The conceptual design plan, by OPD Architects, is full of windows, with a first floor centered on an all-purpose, 150-seat community room and children’s space, and a second floor with quiet areas and adult and young adult sections.

The initial plan, which the firm put together in August 2019, is a 33,000 square feet building. If the $4 million fundraising goal isn’t reached, one of the options to save money might be shortening one end of the building. The building also could accommodate a 5,500 square foot addition to accommodate future growth, and the initial plans also included a $12 million version with additional interior amenities.

Some key features include an area for children’s programming, a sensory room, an area for new mothers, a drive-thru book drop, a second-floor makerspace and several quiet, study and conference rooms.

Endres Way, and other members of the new library steering committee including trustee Randy Glysch, village president Jeanne Carpenter and library board member Jenny Nelson, told the Village Board they felt confident the campaign would meet that threshold by the December timeframe.

“We are committed to building a public library that will best meet our community’s needs and can last into the future,” she said.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.