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A Neighborhood Library Grows: Great Neck Library’s Station Branch

An eager crowd turned up for the grand opening and celebration of the new location for the Station Branch library. Many of the patrons expressed something akin to awe remarking, “How spacious! How open it feels.” The staff of Station, a very busy branch, managed their best in cramped spaces, but now, they too are marveling at the flexibility and programming possibilities that the new space affords. Throughout the months in the making of the transformation, board members have expressed their satisfaction with the services of architect Ron Zakary.

Since the space opens into the atria, it is protected from the weather. In the former space, whenever the front door was opened in the wintertime, a blast of cold air blew in.  Now, one enters and is greeted by staff at the circulation desk. To the right is an airy reading room with magazines and A/V rentals and which overlooks the parking lot with a view of Great Neck. Anywhere there are steps, there are also ramps available. Stonework from the former restaurant space was kept and it adds a visual detail that adds to the warmth of the rooms. The carpeting that runs throughout is in earthtone hues and we heard many people commenting favorably about the decor. And,of course, any place with books invites one to linger. One patron remarked, “It’s so convenient..I can go to the gym, pick up a few things at the grocery store and come here for a book. What could be better?”

We heard a few patrons grumbling at the steps and the slow elevator, but the occasion was marked with good cheer as people ambled around getting a feel for the place. Board President Andrew Greene thanked the library director, Jane Marino, for her active role in every step of the planning and implementation of the project and the move. He also praised Mayor Jean Celender and the Plaza Board of Trustees for assisting the library in securing permits and expediting the reconstruction process. Mr. Greene thanked the library board for their hard work and decision making. He said, “This experience goes to show that we may not always agree on every issue, but we can pull together to make good things happen.” And finally, he thanked the public for supporting the library and its endeavors.

The cost of reconstructing the space was just shy of the projected cost at $297,710. The cost to furnish, equip and move to the new space came to $46,437. Legal fees were $5,624 and the architect’s fees were $22,242.