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In December 2001, residents approved the proposed expansion at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library. Everyone waited patiently until Albany finally granted approval for the construction a year later.

Library officials are presently preparing bid packages and are going to advertise the bids on Jan. 17 in the Plainview Herald and Newsday.

Contractors are invited to pick up the bid package, which contains all of the specs and requirements. They figure out how much it would cost them to complete the project. All of the bids are opened at one time and reviewed to see if they meet the specifications. Then the bid is awarded to the lowest bidder who met all of the specifications.

Contractors have from Jan. 17 until early March to walk through and inspect the library and prepare their bids. On Tuesday, March 4, the bids will be opened. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in May and should last between a year and a year and a half. A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled for Sunday, March 30 at noon at the library.

The library expansion consists of two additions - the family center will be expanded and a lecture/program facility will be added to the east side of the building.

The expansion will double the size of the existing family center, which will be expanded to 25 feet to the west with a mezzanine. Also, more computers will be available for residents to access databases that are not available from homes and are needed for school assignments. Bookshelves are needed for special collections that are currently stored in the basement and not readily available to the public and those bookshelves will be added. Additional shelf space is also needed for Family Sharing books on timely topics such as divorce, drugs and death. The new mezzanine will give the library more room for books. Computers will also be added giving the children six computers and another computer room for research.

The new lecture program facility will have 240 permanent seats, a stage, two conference rooms for meetings and a gallery for exhibits. This new addition will allow the library to present more programs for adults and children as requested by the community. The new expansion provides additional meeting room space for local groups.

"We are so excited," said Plainview-Old Bethpage Library Director Rhoda Orenstein. "This project has been a long time in the making and we are ready to go. This is so exciting for me, the library board, the staff and residents."

The main library will remain open during the construction. According to Orenstein, the family center may have to be closed near the end of construction while it is renovated, but advance notice will be given to residents.


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