Despite snow flurries on February 3, the Larchmont Public Library Board of Trustees broke ground for the final phase of the Children’s Room renovation.
Those assembled to celebrate the occasion included Library Board Chair Miriam Curnin; New York State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer; New York State Assemblyman George Latimer; Ben Craig representing Congresswoman Nita Lowey; Larchmont Mayor Liz Feld; Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe; Village Trustees Josh Mandell and Anne McAndrews; Harriet Kline, Friends of the Larchmont Public Library; Library Trustees David Birch, Pamela Dubitsky, Maureen LeBlanc, and John McGarr, and Library director Diane Courtney. Demetris Demetriou, representing Richard F. Hein Architects and Dominic Calgi, Calgi Construction, were also present.
Using the same gold shovel that had been used to break ground for the 1993 expansion, Miriam Curnin took the first shovelful of earth to mark this event.
“We’ve done all the preparatory work we are capable of doing,” said Ms. Curnin later. “This is where we get to the work that creates the exciting Children’s Room. It’s about new windows, new floors, new walls, new bathrooms, new furnishings, new computers, a gazebo and a puppet theatre – the beautiful stuff, the exciting stuff.”
Supervisor O’Keeffe and Mayor Feld noted that the Larchmont Library is funded by their two communities and it is an example of municipal cooperation.
Senator Oppenheimer, chair of the Education Committee for the New York State Senate, commented on how important libraries are to our communities, especially in these hard economic times. Assemblyman Latimer mentioned the varied ages and economic levels of people served by the Larchmont Library and he challenged those who think they know Larchmont to stop by the library on any given day.
Asbestos abatement and new electrical service have been completed; currently, other infrastructure work is underway.
When the entire project is done, along with features outlined by Ms. Curnin, there will be more shelving for books, a new activity room for crafts and programs and an elevator for easy access.
In addition to fiscal support from the village, town, state and federal governments, much of the funding for this renovation came from individual donations. Ms. Curnin thanked all those present who have supported this project. Vision and support—both financial and moral– are required for such a major project to take off, and determination and careful planning are necessary during each step of the process to see it through to completion.
It is expected that the new Children’s Room will be open by late this summer; watch for news of the grand opening.