Written by Carol Frank Wednesday, 31 July 2013 00:00
Five community meetings slated
“We think this conceptual plan for a renovated Main will be a very efficient and versatile use of space ... It will be light and airy ... user friendly ... and will emphasize the beautiful views of Udalls Pond,” said architect Russell Davidson of KG&D last week at a board meeting.
After the presentation and comments from the public at the meeting, which was lightly attended, the library board unanimously voted to adopt the plan.
A public referendum on the bond issue will be held on Nov. 19 with absentee ballots available. The estimated cost of the project is $10.4 million.
Between now and then, a number of public meetings will be held at various locations around the community to explain the features of the plan and to garner any suggestions and concerns from the public. The next such meeting will held on Tuesday, Aug.13 at Main at 7 p.m.
Floor plans are available for viewing on the website: www.greatnecklibrary.org and patrons may sign up for alerts regarding the building plans.
Upon entering the building on the main floor, one’s eye would travel on the diagonal from the circulation desk to the reference desk that would have a backdrop of the pond views.
The community room would be located to the far left on the Bayview Avenue side and would be 200 square feet larger than the present community room. This arrangement would allow for events to be held when the rest of the library is closed.
A multi-purpose room would be located adjacent to the community room.
The mezzanine would be reduced in size and would have a “floating” appearance with a reading space overlooking pond views. Staff offices would be contained there as well.
The audio-visual department would be underneath the mezzanine.
Reference, computer stations and the non-fiction collection would be located on the main floor at the rear of the building along with a young adult collection. Study stalls would be dotted throughout the area allowing for small group use as well as individual use.
A change to the plans, since last reported in the Record, has been the inclusion of a dedicated history room. Study stalls were eliminated to make room for the history room.
The adult fiction collection and reading nooks with soft seating would be sited on the right of the building overlooking the pond.
The children’s collection, greatly expanded to 3,675 square feet, would be easily and safely accessible from the lower parking lot. There would be a new walkway designed so that pedestrians never have to cross a vehicular pathway.
The children’s area would also have its own child-scaled restroom and book checkout.
Levels, while slightly larger, would be sited as it is now.
An open gallery section at the foot of the staircase would be used for a variety of purposes including exhibitions. Restrooms and vending machines would be available nearby.
A large multi-purpose room that could be divided into two functional rooms would be located on the ground level toward the rear. And all the behind-the-scenes requirements for processing materials, technical services and the like would be on the lower level as well. Mechanicals for the building would be housed there also.
The entire building will be revamped and upgraded with new plumbing, electrical, lighting, roofing, windows, doors, and a heat and air-conditioning system. The recently acquired cooling tower will be used.
All hazardous materials, such as asbestos, will be removed.
All areas will be handicapped accessible.
It is estimated that there will be a 20 to 40 percent reduction in energy costs.
The decision was made to do everything possible to make a new building environmentally sound and efficient.
The exterior of the building would be re-pointed and cleaned and there would be some “modest” work on the parking lot and drainage.
The area just outside the projected children’s collection, called the Children’s Garden, needs some TLC, but is not covered in this plan. Board president Marietta DiCamillo put out a plea for a fundraising professional in the community to volunteer to assist the board in seeking private funding to enhance this space.
Comments from the public were welcome with one patron asking for more attention be paid to making sure that artwork can be displayed properly.
DiCamillo said, “Many more details need to be considered...and we urge the public to attend the next round of meetings.”