Edgewater Library to start construction March 5

Construction on the new Edgewater Library at Broadway and Elmdale will start the week of March 5, according to Alderman Harry Osterman and his 48th Ward Office.

Illustration of the new Edgewater Library. It will be one of the largest branch libraries on the North Side. While it is primarily for Edgewater residents, it will also serve residents of neighboring Andersonville, Uptown and Rogers Park.

Phase 1 of construction will include site mobilization and caisson installation. The contractor hired, Burling Builders, will be locating to an office at 1138 W. Thorndale. In the next few weeks, the 48th Ward Office will have information on local hiring opportunities for the construction project.

"The new Edgewater Library will be a fantastic asset in our community, and I am excited to see this project get underway," Alderman Osterman said.

Asked earlier this year about the teardown of the predecessor libary, Alderman Patrick J. O’Connor, of the neighboring 40th Ward, issued a statement. He said, “This new library will be one of the largest branch libraries in the city, containing more than 60 new computers for public use, free wireless-internet connection, a green roof, and over $500,000 in new books and other reading material.”

The 40th Ward Office said that the new construction is necessary for long-term cost-effectiveness for the city in reduced payments for energy and maintenance.

This construction project was approved and budgeted by the 2009 City Council, passing an ordinance to acquire extra property for the project. The new library will be completed by 2013.

A bookmobile is stationed at the Broadway Armory for the neighborhood to use. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are 10 am to 1 pm, 2pm to 6 pm. On Friday and Saturday, the hours are 9 am to 12 pm, 1 pm to 5 pm. Closed on Mondays. Photo by Gerald Farinas.

During construction, residents are encouraged to use a bookmobile, parked at Broadway and Thorndale. Neighborhood patrons are also invited to use nearby libraries in Andersonville, Uptown and Rogers Park.

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48th Ward Master Plan Launch Meeting on February 23

The 48th Ward Master Plan Launch Meeting will be at Nicholas Senn High School (5900 N. Glenwood) on Thursday, February 23 at 7:00 pm .

Alderman Harry Osterman of the 48th Ward issued the following letter to neighbors:

I am excited to officially launch the 48th Ward Master Plan, a community planning process that will develop a shared vision for the future. Now that our new 48th Ward boundaries have been finalized, we can embark on this exciting process. Many of you have heard or read about the Master Plan. This e-newsletter serves as the official guide to the what, who, when, and how. Hopefully the information below will answer any questions you have and will describe how to get involved in the process.

The most important part of this process will be YOU. It is my dream for every 48th ward resident, business owner and stakeholder to have a voice in this planning process. Please pass this announcement on to your friends and neighbors. Developing a shared vision for the future amongst several topics will take a lot of work; however, I believe the final result will be incredibly rewarding and will leave us with a stronger, healthier, safer 48th ward. Please join me in the process!

The 48th Ward Master Plan will be citizen-driven and will cover many aspects of community life: residential, small business, economic development, transportation, public safety, art, recreation, among others. Committees of neighborhood residents will eventually outline priorities and help establish a roadmap towards improving the 48th Ward. Implementation of suggested priorities could come as early as this summer.

Photo of Alderman Harry Osterman with neighborhood children from HarryOsterman.org.

Cassidy, Steans Town Hall Tonight, January 26

As another legislative session begins, the Rogers Park, Edgewater and Andersonville, Uptown delegation to Springfield are heading back to the statehouse from Chicago.

Seal of the State of Illinois at the statehouse in Springfield. Photo by Halcyon (halcyontravels.blogspot.com).

State Representative Kelly Cassidy (14th House District) and State Senator Heather Steans (7th Senate District) will host a town hall tonight, Thursday, January 26 from 7 to 8 pm at Saint Ita Catholic Church on 5500 N. Broadway.

The meeting is an opportunity for constituents to engage with their elected lawmakers about upcoming bills and raise concerns about state policies (taxation, healthcare, education, transportation, social services, possibility of a marriage equality bill, among other issues). It is also an opportunity for lawmakers to learn about local, block by block, street by street community concerns that residents are passionate about.

Rep. Cassidy is looking forward to being elected to her appointed General Assembly seat. She is being challenged in the primary by neighborhood activist Paula Basta.

The machine-appointed Rep. Cassidy is up for election in her own right to the General Assembly. She was appointed by Democratic committeemen (Carol Ronen, David Fagus, et al.) to finish the term of now-Alderman Harry Osterman. Cassidy is facing a growing challenge for the Democratic nomination by fellow lesbian activist and neighborhood advocate Paula Basta.

Paula Basta hopes to unseat the appointed Rep. Kelly Cassidy to become the first elected representative for the district since Harry Osterman.

Sen. Steans, who succeeded Carol Ronen in 2010, is not up for re-election until 2014.