The Bay Terrace branch of Queens Library will soon undergo a $5.7 million overhaul to renovate and modernize it for the community.
On Tuesday, Dec. 14, library leadership elected officials and the community attended the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the two-year project, which is expected to begin as early as March 2022. According to Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott, the overhaul includes an expansion of the main entrance, improvements to the exterior garden area and a full interior renovation.
“With these renovations, the Bay Terrace branch will be more welcoming, inspiring and technologically efficient, and will reinforce its role as the center of community life,” Walcott said. “I want to thank Council member Paul Vallone for his advocacy and financial support for libraries in his district and beyond, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and state Senator John Liu for securing the funds to modernize the Bay Terrace branch, helping ensure Queens Public Library can continue to provide free access to information, knowledge and opportunity for all.”
According to Queens Library, the full interior renovation will feature updated furniture and technology, a new designated teen area and a new, state-of-the-art multipurpose community room with audiovisual equipment and a new ADA compliant ramp that gives access from the 23rd Avenue side entrance.
In addition, the Bay Terrace location will also be equipped with a new HVAC system and an energy-efficient roof.
“Our libraries are essential to the lifeblood of a healthy community. This is where our children can go to discover ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ or find inspiration in ‘The Little Engine that Could.’ The modernization of the Bay Terrace Library will provide even more opportunities for learners both young and old with new technology, reimagined spaces and upgraded infrastructure,” Senator Liu said. “My office proudly contributed funding for this exciting project to ensure Bay Terrace will have a first-class library for generations to come. Looking forward to the grand opening!”
The Bay Terrace branch is a one-story, 7,500-square-foot structure completed in 1981. It served nearly 75,000 customers and circulated approximately 90,000 items a year pre-pandemic.
The branch officially reopened on July 12, 2021, after QPL temporary closed the library’s physical branches in March 2020. Since then, more than 15,000 customers have visited the branch and borrowed more than 16,000 items.
“Our Queens Public Libraries are treasured community centers, and the state-of-the-art improvements at the Bay Terrace Library will be enjoyed by local families for generations to come,” said Assemblyman Braunstein. “I thank Queens Borough President Richards, Senator Liu and Councilman Vallone for helping to make this project a reality for the Bay Terrace community.”
Elected officials also took to Twitter to commemorate the library’s groundbreaking.
Today, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the long awaited renovations at Bay Terrace Library! I am glad to have funded this in partnership with so many of my colleagues in government who all realize the importance of libraries to our communities. pic.twitter.com/t5wwC6yVQt
— Paul Vallone (@PaulVallone) December 14, 2021
It’s quite the celebration as we break ground on the renovation of the @QPLNYC Bay Terrace library. Bay Terrace residents have waited a long time for their community library to get the upgrades that it needs & deserves. :green_book: https://t.co/p3OzGnlVe1
— Queens Borough President Donovan Richards (@QnsBPRichards) December 14, 2021