BY JON CRONIN
The Queens Library system recently announced that the Richmond Hill Library branch on Hillside Avenue would be closed for an $8.6 million renovation beginning in late 2017 or early 2018.
Community Board 9 Chairman Raj Rampershad plans to hold a meeting that will be open to the public to detail the closure and discuss whether it will coincide with the renovation of the Woodhaven Library, located at 85-41 Forest Pkwy.
Rampershad said that he found out that the Woodhaven Library project is currently in its design-and-development stage, which should take approximately six months. It will then go into the bidding process, and construction is anticipated to begin in fall 2018.
“The question is—will the library close during construction?” said Rampershad, adding that he would like to know more about the timeline of the closing of the two libraries, which serve residents in Community Board 9. “It is definitely something to be concerned about.”
The Richmond Hill Library’s construction is scheduled to take place in fall 2019. A new ADA-compliant ramp will be installed, as well as an elevator, HVAC system, new furniture, shelving, a new check-in and -out system and computer equipment. The interior will be gutted and replaced.
There will also be landscaping improvements around the building to accommodate people with physical disabilities.
The Richmond Hill Library will have a temporary installation to accommodate patrons. Renderings are still in development and will be presented at some point during the summer.
The nearly $9 million project is funded through allocations by the City Council, Senate and Assembly.
A spokeswoman for the library system said that the Richmond Hill branch currently has an annual visitor count of nearly 174,000, making it the 16th-most-heavily-trafficked library in the system. It has a circulation of 163,200, which is the 22nd-largest in the system.
The Woodhaven Library renovation will provide a new ADA ramp, elevator and roof as well as exterior masonry repointing, a new HVAC system and the restoration of original masonry openings to install new windows. The library will gain a new meeting room and children’s library when its basement is renovated.