BY YVETTE BROWN
The new Elmhurst Library is under scrutiny for now being almost three years behind schedule.
The branch, located at 86-01 Broadway, originally had a construction sign up that stated that the work would be completed by 2013. More than two years later, the date on the sign had been crossed out and replaced with November 2014. The Department of Design and Construction, which manages the site, was supposed to conduct an inspection by late fall of 2015 after the $27.8 million library was delayed again when it was slated to open in the spring of 2015.
“I have checked the timeline with my colleagues. The construction of the new library in Elmhurst will be ‘substantially complete’ later this winter,” said Joanne King, spokesperson for Queens Library. “Following that, the library has to do the outfitting (furniture, computers, data wiring, shelving, books and etc.) It is anticipated to be ready for customer service in the summer of 2016. We are very excited to be planning for the grand opening.”
As reported by the Queens Tribune in August of 2015, King “explained that while they are in charge of the operation of the library, they are not in charge of the building repairs or how long it takes. She added that the library hasn’t heard anything from DDC either, but said that they are expecting to have the branch ready for the public by spring 2016.”
DDC spokesperson Shavone Williams said that while King may have not heard anything at that time, “We always provide updates for community members, library staff and elected officials.” Williams continued by explaining that 85 percent of the work had been completed and all that was taking place was lining up inspections from the Department of Buildings and the FDNY, but this was back in August of 2015.
“This is a very heavily used library which is why we decided to build a big one to begin with and there’s pain waiting for the construction to be finished,” said King.
There is a temporary location of the Elmhurst library branch and adult learning center, which is located at 85-05 51st Ave., just down the street from the main Elmhurst branch.
“The new branch is expected to have four levels featuring separate child, teen and adult spaces, a reading atrium, front and rear gardens, a cyber center, an adult learning center as well as a memory wall, a learning garden, historic photographs and a children’s fireplace to honor the original branch’s construction in 1906 by Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist and philanthropist,” according to reports.
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.