After years of delays, the East Elmhurst public library has reopened following a $9.9 million expansion and renovation.
The project added 4,290 square feet of space to the building, including an interior courtyard with an underground irrigation system and a reading space and in the rear of the building there is a patio and garden area.
“The renovation and expansion have transformed East Elmhurst library into an even more inviting oasis of learning and opportunity for all,” Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott said. “With more room for books, periodicals, computers and programs, the branch is sure to become busier than ever before.”
An expanded teens area was added to the facility with computers, lounge seating, reading tables and benches.
“The families of East Elmhurst deserve a state-of-the-art library worthy of the 83,000 people who walk through its doors each year,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “With today’s grand opening of this newly expanded and upgraded library branch, that’s exactly what this community will enjoy for years to come. Our libraries are the anchors of our neighborhoods, and East Elmhurst’s beautiful new center for learning, literacy and culture is something all residents can be proud to call their own.”
Katz allocated $3 million for the project, adding to $4 million previously allocated by the late Borough President Helen Marshall, with the remaining $2.9 million from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Councilman Francisco Moya, and former Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.
“I encourage families to make use of the many enhanced features such as the extended and modernized teen area, and a new state-of-the-art meeting room,” Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry said. “The library also boasts a new enclosed open space, perfect for reading a good book anytime of the year.”
The new meeting room was also added for up to 173 people with a separate entrance for after-hours access for the community and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment.
“Libraries are public cathedrals, temples for exploration and discovery,” Councilman Francisco Moya said. “Not only are they repositories for literary works but for so many people, our libraries are their best portals to internet access. I also want to commend the library and the Department of Design and Construction for developing a facility with climate change and sustainability in mind.”
The East Elmhurst at 95-06 Astoria Blvd. originally opened in 1972. The old facade of the building has been enclosed inside a continuous glass wall along Astoria Boulevard.