After closing just a day before Thanksgiving, the East Elmhurst Community Library has broken ground on its renovations. Originally built in 1971, the $8.9 million dollar project will add 4,500 square feet to the existing 7,360 square-foot space over the course of the next three months.
Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) joined with Queens Library President Dennis Walcott, local elected officials including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, and representatives from Queens Community Board 3 at yesterday’s the ground-breaking ceremony. All of them spoke of the importance of libraries for community members to learn, assemble, and engage with the larger Queens community.
“The Queens Public Library is a crucial resource for seniors, students, immigrants and families in my district,” said City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. “We not only use the space for its collections but use our local library as a place to bond with our children, learn new languages, and immerse in cultural programming.”
As the library approaches its 50th anniversary, senator Jose Peralta said the project will “modernize the East Elmhurst Community Library and bring it into the future.”
The expansion of the front of the building will create a multi-purpose assembly space that will accommodate up to 120 people, and the side expansion will house part of an assembly space, in addition to an interior reading court with skylight and a computer room.
The library will also meet standards for LEED Silver certification, boasting several sustainable features such as solar panels, active heat recovery ventilation, and insulated glazing that will use a suspended plastic film to triple parts of the building envelope’s thermal resistance.
The new library expansion will be managed by the Department of Design and Construction, in partnership with Garrison Architects of Manhattan, and construction by the National Environmental Safety Company of Long Island City.