GRANITE CITY — The Six Mile Regional Library District recently was awarded $872,255 by the United States Steel Corporation and SunCoke Energy Inc. for its downtown building renovation.
The renovation of the library at 2001 Delmar Ave. was completed in August 2014. U.S. Steel and SunCoke created an environmental trust in support of local efforts to promote better air quality and energy efficiency.
Portions of the renovation supported by the trust are replacement of original windows, new energy-efficient lighting upgrades and weather caulking.
“On behalf of our entire community, I am deeply grateful for this truly generous award,” Six Mile Library Director Tina Hubert said. “The award will help the library pay down the construction bond issued in 2013 specifically for the renovation project that established a sustainable state-of-the-art building for the future.”
The building features numerous improvements, including new restrooms, a new teen area and a family restroom for the youth services department, a new heating and air conditioning system, a new main floor circulation desk, a new computer lab and a handicapped-accessible entrance.
Before the renovation was completed, the main branch was temporarily housed at the former Niedringhaus Elementary School.
Virginia Woulfe-Beile, Three Rivers project coordinator for the Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club, said with the renovation, the library meets many requirements of the trust and helps all parties further advance toward meeting environmental goals.
“The Sierra Club is pleased to work closely with the elected officials and community leaders in the Granite City, Madison and Venice municipalities to develop air quality improvement projects to be funded through the United States Steel and Gateway Energy Settlement Fund, which was negotiated by the Sierra Club and the American Bottom Conservancy for the improved health through better air quality for the citizens of the region,” she said.
The Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club has its headquarters in Alton. The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization and was founded in 1892.
Woulfe-Beile was part of a six-person committee that awarded the trust to the Six Mile Library District. The others were Bryan Kresak, environmental director of Granite City Works; Jack Darin, director of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club; Joyce Blumenshine, conservation committee chairperson of the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club; and Kathy Andria and Dale Wojtkowski of American Bottom Conservancy.
The library district’s online Clean Air Repository’s goal is to educate residents of Granite City, Mitchell and Pontoon Beach about the hazards of pollutants from nearby industries.
The main branch library at Delmar Avenue was built in 1929. The Granite City library was founded 17 years earlier with 300 books donated by city residents.
Today, the library has more than 90,000 items.
The library district also has a branch at 2145 Johnson Road.