While library users have been very good about grinning and bearing having to use the library's makeshift facilities during its renovations, (some even suggesting that the temporary facility set up in Manorhaven Park become an annex), many are interested in knowing when the expansions and upgrades will be completed. As of now, the best guess-estimate for completion of the building, according to Port Washington Public Library Director Nancy Curtin, is early summer ... in the best case scenario.
Updating the progress on the construction, Ms. Curtin reports that steel has been erected in all the six different portions of the project, except in the front of the building. However the perimeter expansion and the side of the building that faces Main Street are now completed in terms of the steel construction. If no further delays occur, Ms. Curtin hopes to have the building enclosed sometime in January.
For the interior space, work has been going on simultaneously. The mechanical equipment has been installed in the basement. The reading room has been created. Sheet rock has been put up for the small meeting space and small offices.
Ms. Curtin noted that the construction to enlarge the parking lot cannot begin until the work on the building is completed, because the property is currently being used as a construction site.
She noted, however, that a revised design for the new parking lot is being considered. It involves creating one enlarged lot that would move Library Drive to the east, and make the entrance and exit to the new parking lot at the location where Library Drive is today. "This would double the size of the lot," reports Ms. Curtin, adding that the new design still has to go through final approval from the Village of Baxter Estates and Nassau County Traffic Department.
And the good news is that the project is "on budget," says Ms. Curtin.
In response to the question would the library consider leaving the temporary facility as an annex to the main library, Ms. Curtin replied, the board has discussed this. "We have to determine more specifically, what need it would serve. To keep an annex open is very expensive and the board doesn't feel that it's justified at this time."
In general, Ms. Curtin commented that she's excited by the progress. "I can visualize all of the additional space and equipment that will be available to the public."