Library Closes For Expansion
By Joe Marvilli
Queens Library at Kew Gardens Hills is preparing to undergo a major renovation, resulting in its temporary closing for two years.
The library will close at the end of its business day on Feb. 22 to make way for an expansion that will be complete in 2015. Library patrons from Kew Gardens Hills will not be left without a branch though, as a temporary location will open in the middle of March at 71-34 Main St. in the neighborhood, just a couple of blocks away from the library’s location at 72-33 Vleigh Place.
Over the course of its renovation, Kew Gardens Hills Library will add 3,000 square feet of space to its 8,200 square feet structure, increasing the area available for adults, teens and children as well as adding an expanded meeting room. In terms of technological improvements, the library will double the quantity of public-use computers available; have fast radio-frequency identification-powered self-check-out and 24/7 self-check in.
The building’s new design, created by WORK Architects, will include an energy-saving green roof, new energy-efficient heating, ventilating, air conditioning and light-fixtures, all helping its eligibility for LEED Silver certification. The glass for the frontage will be energy-efficient as well.
The building will be fully handicap accessible.
WORK Architects was selected by the Dept. of Design and Construction, which is overseeing the development.
The design and construction of the library will cost $7.415 million.
The short-term branch will offer a limited selection of books, movies and other library materials as well as reference services and limited computer access. Its location was selected due to its availability and proximity to the renovation.
“Retail space is very expensive and hard to find in that neighborhood, as it is a very busy, vibrant area,” Communications Director Joanne King said. “71-34 Main Street offered the best possibilities.”
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in March with an exact date forthcoming. The same is true of the temporary library opening date.
“Queens Library at Kew Gardens Hills serves so many people who have a diverse range of educational needs,” Thomas Galante, President and CEO of Queens Library, said.
Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, or at email@example.com.