BY LYNN EDMONDS
The Bay Terrace Library will undergo $4.1 million in renovations in the near future.
The funds will be primarily provided by Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), who contributed $1.4 million and $1.48 million to the project, respectively. Katz announced her contribution at a press conference inside the library on Thursday, alongside Vallone and new Queens Library CEO Dennis Walcott.
The money will pay for a complete re-design of the interior, new children’s, teens and adult areas, more technology, new décor, self –service check in and check out and accessibility features. A new roof and HVAC is already in design.
“I keep hearing how fantastic this library is. And we want to build on that and make it even better,” Walcott said.
Vallone said that the space was very important to his constituents.
“Libraries are really the new community centers of our district, everyone, from kids to adults to seniors are here more and more,” he said.
The councilman added that the renovations would be taxing place in tandem with improvements to the nearby PS 169 and Bell Academy and the Bay Terrace playground behind between the library and the school.
“You can’t just hit one, without fixing all of them,” Vallone said. “I think this really is a perfect example of libraries, parks and schools all coming together at the same time.”
There is as yet no timeline for the construction. When renovations begin, patrons will be directed to an interim library.
Katz emphasized her commitment to the Queens Library system.
“We rely on the library when it comes to finding newspapers that are in different languages, when it comes to finding books that are culturally sensitive to every group that comes here. When folks come here to use the computers because they don’t have them in their own homes. And so we provide that network right here in the Queens Library system,” she said.
Katz also spoke about the new library leadership following the corruption scandal. She was instrumental installing new leadership after allegations of wrongdoing surfaced.
“We need a leader at the helm that is strong and consistent,” she told Walcott. “We are looking forward to great things – but no pressure.”
Reach Lynn Edmonds at (718) 357-7400 x127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Ellinoamerikana