BPL Expansion

Beloit Public Library Marking and Communications Director Amy Mitchell explains the future buildout of the two Blackhawk Technical College classrooms as part of the library’s larger expansion project that’s expected to be completed in August.

BELOIT—Construction at the Beloit Public Library (BPL) remains on schedule amid COVID-19.

Construction on multiple Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) classrooms and additional library facilities kicked off on May 4.

The $550,000, 8,500-square-foot, project is slated to be completed by Aug. 1, unless there are delays due to supply chain disruptions for construction materials. In that case work could be pushed back to December, according to Beloit Public Library Director Nick Dimassis.

“We’re really excited about this project and all the opportunities it will create,” Dimassis said. “The expansion is going to allow us to improve our partnerships with important groups, but also allow for expanded services to the community.”

The buildout space was previously vacant or used as storage by the library following the building’s opening in 2009.

The plan to relocate Blachawk Technical College classrooms at the library was announced in February following a year of the college using existing classroom space at the library.

Included in the project will be two BTC classrooms and two adult education classrooms; a GED Testing Center; a caregiver room; a large study room, a children’s program room and two open seating areas.

Also part of the project will be three office spaces for FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET), Blackhawk Tech and Stateline Literacy Council.

A two-phase reopening plan for library operations was announced on Sunday, with the library to reopen officially on Monday. From June 1 to June 6, library patrons will only be allowed access to computers, fax capabilities and copiers with full services at the library to resume on June 8.

Hours for the library will be 9:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

To allow for social distancing, only 10 computers will be available, each with a 90-minute limit. Use will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and only one person will be allowed at each computer.

Curbside book pickup will still be offered.

Beginning on June 8, curbside pickup will move away from the current appointment-based system to one that will require patrons to park in a designated spot, call, and wait for delivery to their car. Curbside pickup hours for June 1 through June 6 are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Saturday and on June 8 will transition to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday.