More than 16 months after Gerber/Hart Library announced its move from Granville to a new location at 6500 N. Clark St., the library is still not open, with no confirmed date for an opening.
The library vacated its old space in early May 2012, which means it has been closed more than 13 months.
Brad Tucker, current board president, spoke at a community forum in February, promising a spring opening. He also promised that the 5-member board would be looking to expand quickly.
Tucker, reached by email June 5, said the occupancy date is unknown because they have not received an occupancy permit, and the landlord has not explained why. The city has to inspect the space to provide a permit for the capacity of the space. "The landlord is primarily responsible for that process," he said.
Tucker said they are planning a June 29 "sneak peak" for the space and hope to be open the following week.
Rosemary Mulryan, Carrie Barnett and Kit Duffy spearheaded a search for new board members and presented a slate of nine qualified candidates to Tucker in early April. Both Mulryan and Barnett were leaders of Gerber/Hart many years ago, and Duffy is a longtime ally of the community (and was Mayor Harold Washington's liaison to the gay community).
"My committee submitted recommended candidates and now the board has to decide what they want to do," Mulryan said.
Nothing has been done with those recommendations. "The process has been stalled because of me," Tucker said, adding that he has been experiencing personal issues and has asked other board members to step in. However, there is little confidence from the community in those who brought Gerber/Hart to this point in time, and this could cause further delays in adding new members to the board.
In addition to Tucker, a former G/H board president who only re-joined the board after the controversy surrounding the closing of the old space, the board includes: Don Landers, who does not live in Illinois; Karen Sendziak, the previous board president; Jody Bedore; and John Orwat.
Tucker said most of the archives have been moved into the new space, and Mulryan said it is "beautiful." Tucker added that there were some miscellaneous unexpected expenses related to the move, costing maybe a few thousand dollars, and related to shelving and similar space logistics issues.
"Financially we are sound," Tucker said. "The move will end up costing more than we anticipated, but we have the funds to cover it."
They are not paying for rent in the new space until the occupancy is settled.
Related story: Feb. 14, 2013, Gerber Hart aims for Spring re-opening: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Gerber-Hart-aims-for-Spring-re-opening/41571.html .