Arverne Library Gets $1.5 Million For Renovations
The Arverne Library has received a $1.5 million allocation for renovations, it was announced last week.
"We will finally have a library that matches the great community spirit and activities that take place inside," said Sharon Anderson, the facility's Community Library Manager in a prepared statement.
Joanne King, the Associate Director for Communications at the Queens Library, explained how the funds - which are part of the city's budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1 - would be used to refurbish the library.
"It will include work on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, repairs to the roof, new windows and doors and upgrading the fire alarm," said King. "It will also be put toward interior renovations such as new flooring and painting."
King, who also said that new furniture and improved lighting is on the list, conceded the $1.5 million won't cover all that is to be done.
"It's a big chunk of it," she said.
Anderson told The Wave she would like to see the small building on Beach 54 Street be, as she put it, "extended out."
"The lot next to it belongs to the library," said Anderson.
King elaborated on the possibilities of expansion.
"That's been talked about, on and off, for a long time," said King, who added using the lot is not currently in the plans. "I can't say it's not going to happen."
The Arverne Library, which was built in 1964, is 5,000 square feet with 3,500 of that used for public service. Anderson said her branch sees at least 200 people a day. In 2006, visitation was up by 25 percent from 2005 and circulation was up by 34 percent.
The $1.5 million was made possible by an allocation from Councilman James Sanders Jr., who spoke about the planned improvements.
"Even before I was a councilman, I spent a majority of my days in the library, which makes me understand the importance of working in a comfortable learning environment," said Sanders in a press release. "It is my job to ensure that the community can go to the library and learn without having to worry if the roof is going to cave in on them."
Eugene Johnson, the president of the Arverne Library Friends Association, said his organization lobbied heavily for months to obtain funds for the renovation.
"Finally renovations can begin to transform a worn down building in need of dire repairs," Johnson said. "This library not only provides traditional services to a densely populated area, but is also a focal point of community meetings, activities and programs.
"We're thankful for the contribution, but we realize we still have a lot of work to do."
Johnson concluded by saying "We will now have a place where young people can go. A nice library; [a] safe [library]."
Thomas Galante, the director of the Queens Library, said the work should be done within the next two years.
"There's no specific schedule yet," said King.