The new wing is rising and significant progress has been made in the total renovation ongoing at the Mamaroneck Public Library at 136 Prospect Avenue in Mamaroneck Village.
Winter snow storms and the March 13 nor’easter did create delays, but now the new addition is taking shape. You can see the tall columns which will herald the new library entrance. The old entrance will become a glassed in sun room off the restored historic reading room. The top floor will have a narrow view of Mamaroneck Harbor.
The old building has been gutted and asbestos has been removed. The renovation will include new wiring, plumbing, heating/cooling systems and a new layout, which will tie in the old building with the new addition.
Meanwhile, the library is in temporary quarters at 102 Mamaroneck Avenue.
The library staff and building committee have selected carpeting, internal signage and lighting for the new facility and are now busy picking shelving, furniture and other amenities.
Overall, the new library will deliver an expansion of services, new programs, user-friendly technology and much needed space when it opens its doors at the end of 2010.
The library’s needs were clear before construction began. The library had to find more usable space; upgrade and improve its technology to meet the growing demand; create specially designed spaces for different groups and their uses; and meet current code requirements as a public building. An impressive “wish list” of key requirements was generated from focus groups and surveys commissioned by the library. These were then used as the library worked with the architectural firm of BKSK Architects.
The new modern facility, when complete, will be a Silver LEED-rated “Green” building. In response to community requests, there will be comfortable chairs and reading areas throughout the facility. There will be a completely redesigned and expanded Children’s Library and separate teens’ section along with quiet rooms where children can get help with homework and school projects. To meet the growing demands of the community, there will be an expanded all-purpose room with audio-visual technology.
The design for the new building allows for flexibility so that the library will be able to adapt to the changing needs of the community. Plans for a small café and different sized meeting areas will enable the new library to function as a community center.
In addition, the library will feature an updated technology center with the latest media and there will be free WiFi service, allowing easy internet access throughout the building. There will also be automated check-out counters and more computer terminals.
“It’s been an exciting year for the Mamaroneck Library as we finally see the new building becoming a reality,” said Bill Spiro, board president of the Mamaroneck Library. “This has been a tremendous community effort which we will all be proud of.”
Fund raising for the library construction is ongoing, with around $500,000 to go towards a goal of bringing in $6.5 million from community donations. The total budget for the building project was $19.5 million.
To make a tax-deductible donation, send your check to the Mamaroneck Public Library, 102 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543 or go to www.mamaronecklibrary.org.
Eileen Slater Cohen is a Mamaroneck Library Trustee .