By Bill Parry
The library at LaGuardia Community College is set for a massive renovation that will expand and modernize the facility and make it more accessible for the 850,000 students and faculty that visit each year. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who allocated $2 million in funding for the project, was joined by the school’s president Dr. Gail Mellow, educators and students at a Friday groundbreaking at the Long Island City campus.
“Once the $2 million renovation and expansion of the library is complete, this sanctuary of learning will help over 20,000 students live out their dreams,” Van Bramer said. “LaGuardia Community College has a successful track record improving the lives and economic opportunities for countless sons and daughters of immigrants who continue to attend this world-class institution. Together with this significant investment we will ensure more students are given a state-of-the-art facility they need to enhance their economic experience.”
The renovation will expand the library to the E-Building’s second floor. The college’s Humanities Department was moved to the C-Building to make room for the expansion.
“LaGuardia’s library is a critically important learning space for our students,” Dr. Mellow said. “Now, because of Councilman Van Bramer’s relentless advocacy and leadership, our library will have the resources to better serve our growing student population and innovative faculty.”
The first floor renovation will create a more open plan, allowing better access. When the renovations are completed, students will walk through a new entrance into a bright, open space lit by natural light from the western and southern walls. The renovation will also allow the space to become more technology-friendly, with study desks and tables wired for use with laptops and mobile devices.
“We are excited to embark on the construction project,” LaGuardia’s VP of Administration Shahir Erfan said. “The new space will leverage architectural and engineering design to promote learning and student engagement and the technology upgrades will enhance the student experience.”
The project is expected to be completed by fall 2016.
“To us students, the library is our sanctuary to study, do homework and be academically active,” LaGuardia Student Government Political Awareness Officer Katherine Gutierrez-Rios said. “More books and more space are what we need. We have waited for this renovation, and it will provide us exactly that.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.