Far Rockaway Library Design Funding Approved
More than three years after first allocating the money, the Queens Borough President’s office has announced that funding has been approved to begin a complete rebuilding of the Far Rockaway Library. In May 2008 Borough President Helen Marshall set aside $19 million for the construction of a new library, to be built on the site of the existing facility at 1637 Central Avenue. Earlier this month, the City’s Office of Management and Budget granted the approval of $1,389,570 for the design of a replacement facility.
“The funds will cover the architects’ fees, which will be the design of the building,” said Joanne King, a spokesperson for the Queens Library. King added, “It usually takes approximately three years from this point until the building is fully ready for customer service, although many factors play into it. [The] next steps: the architects design the building, submit the design for approval and alterations to the design are made as necessary.”
Requests for bids will be put out and contracts will then be awarded. At the same time a temporary space will be designated and prepared from which to run the library during construction. One possible temporary site for the library is the Teen Library on Beach 20 Street.
When the renovations of the library were first announced, Councilman James Van Bramer, then the director of government and community relations for the Queens Library, said that the new library would be 18,000 to 20,000 square feet – more than twice the size of the current one. The idea, The Wave was told, was to replace the one story building with additional floors by building up or adding a basement.
In 2008 it was reported that the Far Rockaway Library had 16,000 borrowers annually. There were 250,000 visitors between May 14, 2007 and May 14, 2008.
The library, which will be replaced with a new state-ofthe art facility, was last renovated more than 40 years ago.