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Queens Chronicle

Kew Gardens Hills Library plan hailed for design

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Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:00 am

Although construction won’t begin until next year, plans for the the Kew Gardens Hills Library expansion have won a design award from the city.

The project was one of 13 honored by Mayor Mike Bloomberg last week at the Design Commission’s annual Awards for Excellence held in Manhattan. Bloomberg noted that the 13 honorees are a record number of awards.

The program encourages city agencies to use methods to come up with high quality designs that are cost-effective, sustainable and beautiful.

The library was cited for its renovation and expansion plans at 72-33 Vleigh Place. Work is expected to get underway next spring with the entire interior to be completely renovated.

The facility will be expanded by 3,000 square feet to a total of 11,000 square feet. Customer service improvements will include full self-service technology such as checking out and 24/7 check-in with receipts, a teen area, children’s area and air conditioning .

The roof over the addition will be green, with grass planted on it that will clean the air while saving on heating and cooling, according to Queens Library spokeswoman Joanne King.

The Kew Gardens Hills Library was built in 1967 and area residents have said for years more space is needed because of the growing population in the community.

The $7.6 million expansion project is being funded primarily with $6.4 million from Borough President Helen Marshall’s Office. Construction is expected to take about 14 months and be finished in 2013 or 2014. During that time, a temporary branch site is expected to be put in place.

The library project was the only Queens plan honored with an award by the city this year. The winning entries are selected by members of the Design Commission from hundreds of submissions.

The commission reviews all permanent works of art, architecture and landscape architecture on city-owned property.

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