ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford’s new public library building downtown will be more than a place to check out books.

Bridget Finn has been part of the nearly $40 million Rockford Public Library construction project since October 2021.

The library, which stood at 215 N. Wyman Street, was demolished after the ground upon which it sat was classified as unsafe, due to residual chemicals present from an industrial facility that occupied the plot many years ago.

ComEd inherited the assets of the former company and is funding the design and construction of the new library building.

“It’s a showstopper. It’s going to be the pride of downtown Rockford on the west side of the river,” Finn said.

The new building was designed by Studio GWA and Engberg Anderson Architects, who capitalized on its riverfront location.

Outside the new library are terraces on the second and third floor, along with patio space on the ground level that will be landscaped.

“We have gallery space. We have digital recording studios with green screens, so that’ll be available. We have maker spaces that are going to be accessible to the public where they’ll learn new skills. We have a lot of public space available to have your meetings, to have your occasions,” Finn said.

Scandroli Construction is employing a large crew and 25 subcontractors to complete the project, which has provided over 300 jobs.

“Our people have rose to the occasion, and we’re at the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s almost done,” Finn said.

Construction of the library is set to be completed in early 2024.