New library 'a beautiful thing'


The new Chenoa Public Library is shown downtown / EOCI photo.

CHENOA – History is being created in downtown Chenoa with the addition of a brand new library.

The large brick structure with plenty of windows really makes a statement in the downtown area.

“Everything was done so well from the design to the actual construction,” said library director Sheryl Siebert. “It’s just a beautiful thing.”

What was originally an empty lot really compliments the city. A community room holds up to 49 individuals while the total library capacity is 103. The library has plenty of accessibility, giving residents the chance to hang out with friends, get cool, charge devices or sit at the front window to watch people go by.

“They’ve got some planter boxes up front, benches that have been donated and hoping to have it where people can come and experience the community together in one place,” said Denver Rassi with 4-D Construction, the project’s general contractor.

The process to build a new library started long before Rassi’s company became involved. Chenoa started a library in 1913 and the previous building was given by a church to the city. That building served two different denominations and was even moved to the spot it is at.

“It was never created to be a library. We were always making do,” Siebert recalled. “Here, our Internet is four times faster and we have connections all over the building.”

After some attempts at making the existing library more accessible, it was discovered this was not a very economical option.

Siebert invites the community to stop in and sit back in a nice booth at the new place with a magazine or laptop computer while enjoying the scenery from the front or back of the building. She appreciates Chenoa residents and donors who have made everything possible.

“Even if you don’t check-out books, we have movies and other things to do here,” she noted.

Scharnett Associates of Bloomington was the project architect. Rassi feels they did a nice job with the design which 4-D implemented. Much of the construction work happened during the past six to eight months. The mostly wood construction includes some steel beams with Union Roofing doing the roof work.

Other sub-contractors included: RTJ Electric, Edelman Electric, Lanz Plumbing and Gutwein Quality doors.

“We tried to keep it as local as we could and we feel like we were able to do that and give a lot of people an opportunity to work here,” Rassi explained.

More on the new Chenoa Public Library can be found online at www.chenoalibrary.org. According to a message posted on the website, they will open with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place starting July 28. Those guidelines are intended to keep employees and guests safe.

“We look forward to seeing you!” the message reads.

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