By Ivan Pereira
Archbishop Molloy High School’s library was named in honor of a 20th century war hero and after a recent renovation the space now boasts amenities fit for the 21st century and beyond.
In October, the Briarwood Catholic high school rededicated its William J. Murphy Library, which capped off years of planning and construction for the first-floor space. The new library was redesigned from the ground up to accommodate the growing use of the Internet in classrooms, according to the school’s president, Richard Karsten.
“Technology plays a key role because of the research lab as well as students’ demands for online information,” he said in a statement.
More than a mile of cables was used to create the new computer lab center that features 40 laptops, according to school spokesman Joe Sommo. The space is also climate controlled so students can study and do their work in comfortable settings year-round and includes a college preparatory center for upperclassmen.
But Molloy’s teens are not the only ones who have been enjoying the new features. The library also has a multimedia conference room available for teachers, students and clubs for classes and extracurricular activities.
“It truly is a world-class, collegiate facility now at the disposal of all who call Archbishop Molloy High School home,” Brother Thomas Schady, the school’s principal, said in a statement.
Karsten said the administrators and teachers had several meetings over the last couple of years to come up with ways to update the library, which underwent a small renovation in 1998, and gave the ideas to alumnus Gino Fazio, who graduated in 1981 and runs G. Fazio Construction.
“When you work with Gino, you understand one thing quite clearly: There is only one way to do things — the right way,” Karsten said.
Fazio was chosen not only because he was able to bring new technologies to the library, but also because he was able to preserve its history.
Although new carpeting was installed and new furniture was brought in, the renovation crews restored, refinished and reinstalled the original mahogany bookcases that were created when the school was first constructed in 1957.
The school dedicated the library to William J. Murphy, who graduated from the school in 1941, back when it was in Manhattan and called St. Ann’s Academy. After serving in World War II, Murphy began a career in teaching and instructed students at Fordham Prep High School in the Bronx and later at Fordham University.
Murphy, now retired, was welcomed back to the library during its rededication ceremony and said he was excited about the new opportunities that would be available to future students.
“This is the first time I’ve worn a tie in over 20 years,” Murphy joked during the event. “It has been a very long time, but this is extremely important to me.”
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.