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Queens Chronicle

New Elmhurst library set to open next year

Despite the construction delays, the project has not gone over budget

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Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2014 10:30 am

Don’t bother digging through your wallet and dusting off your library card just yet.

The new Elmhurst branch of the Queens Library, located at 86-01 Broadway, will not open this year, as previously reported.

Instead, the building, which is still under construction, is scheduled to be completed next spring.

When ground was broken on the new 30,000-square-foot structure in 2011, an original tentative opening date of 2013 was given.

Last year, it was reported that the $27.8 million library would open in 2014.

While a sign at the construction site says the Elmhurst branch will open in November 2014, replacing the crossed-out date of 2013, Queens Library spokeswoman Jennifer Manley confirmed Wednesday the building will not be completed until next spring.

“Construction is moving along and good progress has been made,” Manley said in an email. “The exterior envelope and major infrastructure [has been] completed. The target for construction to be substantially complete is spring 2015.”

The Department of Design and Construction manages the site, while Marpillero Pollak Architects serves as the building’s architect.

The temporary Elmhurst library branch and adult learning center are located at 85-05 51 Ave., just down the street from the construction site.

According to Manley, yet to be completed are the heating, ventilation and sprinkler systems, along with fire alarms and the building’s elevators, which require oversight and approval from the Department of Buildings and the FDNY.

Doors, interior walls and light fixtures will be the final additions during the final phases of construction over the next few months.

DDC spokesman Craig Chin said reconfiguring and updating building code were big reasons behind the delays in construction, which, he said, is 75 percent completed.

“All exterior work will be done by mid November,” Chin said. “We are set to turn it over to the Queens Library in the spring.”

Despite construction taking longer than originally anticipated, Manley confirmed the project has not gone over its original budget.

Once the building is completed, Manley approximates it will take three months for the Queens Library to outfit and ready the space prior to its grand opening sometime next year.

Some of the amenities the new four-level branch will feature are separate child, teen and adult library spaces, an interior reading atrium, front and rear gardens, a cyber center for public use and a new adult learning center, which will have its own level.

A memory wall, a learning garden, historic photographs and a children’s fireplace will also be featured in the library to honor the original branch’s construction in 1906 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

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