MONTICELLO — The library district's three-year search for land ended last month when library trustees bought a 10.98-acre piece of property on the west edge of town. The plot, at 4000 Green Apple Lane and formerly owned by the Carle Foundation, was purchased for $250,000.
Plans are eventually to construct a library of about 14,000 square feet, according to library director Lisa Winters, although she added that the district will build only what is within its budget and can be maintained without raising the district's tax rate.
"It's exciting to move on to the next point, because I would really like to see a new library before I am gone," said Winters, who has worked at the facility since 1977, the last 15 years as director.
A significant assist in the building process will come from the estate of Max Hency, a 1941 Monticello High School graduate who died in 2005 and left $2.9 million to the library through his estate.
The library has been at its current location at 201 N. State St. since the building was constructed in 1897. At that point it took up a small portion of the ground floor and was funded by the opera house that also operated out of the structure. The Allerton Library renovated and expanded into the former opera house area in the 1940s, and now takes up about 5,000 square feet of the building.