BY LUIS GRONDA
One of Borough President Helen Marshall’s last projects is nearing its completion.
The Forum at Queens Borough Hall will be a new event space area adjacent to the Borough’s political headquarters.
The $23 million center, which was completely funded by Marshall, will host public events, such as award ceremonies, community meetings and possibly concerts, in the future.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the center on Monday, the outgoing Borough President said Queens Borough Hall will soon have an open space for public hearings and other events just like the borough halls in every other borough currently has.
“When I first became Borough President, I envisioned a public space that would truly reflect the greatness of this Borough. For decades, public hearings and other public events were held in cramped and unimproved quarters upstairs,” she said during her speech.
The 11,000-square-foot center has been under construction since January 2012 and is expected to be completed this upcoming February.
Marshall had received criticism for the project in the past. During its construction, about 20 cherry trees were cut down, fueling a war of words between Marshall’s office and environmentalists who called for the trees to be replaced.
She said, despite past criticism of the project, she went ahead with it because it is what the people of Queens needed and the trees will be replaced.
“The trees are going to be replanted. Not those trees because they’re dead, but we plan to do that,” Marshall said. “And we got rid of that cockamamie statue too,” referring to the Civic Virtue Statue that was removed from Kew Gardens almost one year ago.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @luisgronda.