Revamped Kew Gardens Hills Library to open next summer

By Sarina Trangle

A fresh Kew Gardens Hills Library complete with an area exclusively for teens should be ready to greet students next summer break.

The Queens Library announced the 30,000-square-foot expansion of the branch started last April should be completed by summer 2015.

The $8.2 million undertaking includes expanding the 72-33 Vleigh Place branch to the edge of the library’s property lines along Vleigh Place and 72nd Road, a complete interior renovation and the installation of a new facade.

The additional space will primarily contain conference rooms available to library guests and staff.

The interior revamping will enable the library to include a 580-square-foot teen area. It will also come with technology upgrades that double the number of computers at the branch and bring a self-checkout system and round-the-clock check-in service into the library.

Renderings of the project show the addition of a modern, curved desktop with computers on it and jagged, contemporary walls breaking up smaller office spaces.

A new facade and modern entryway will wrap up the renovation.

The glass fiber-reinforced concrete panels slated to cover the branch contain rippled, curtain-like folds. The Kew Gardens Library’s new entrance will also be shaped to resemble the folded page of a book.

The project’s green roof, stormwater retention tank, low-flow plumbing fixtures and other sustainable elements are expected to help it achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

Such LEED designations signify that a building incorporates green technology.

During construction, Queens Library will continue to lend books at a temporary location across the street, at 71-34 Main St.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@cnglocal.com.

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