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Renovated Elmhurst Library Expected to Open by Fall, Officials Say

By Katie Honan | April 6, 2016 8:34am
 Work began on the library in 2012, officials said. 
Work began on the library in 2012, officials said. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

ELMHURST — The reconstructed library on Broadway, which was originally scheduled to open three years ago, should be ready in the fall, Queens Library officials said Monday.

Construction on the new site is "95 percent complete," according to Dennis Verriello, the vice president of capital projects and facilities.

Verriello spoke at a public hearing on the library's budget that took place at the Main Street branch in Flushing on Monday night.

Library officials anticipate that the Elmhurst library will open by the fall, once furniture and millwork is complete.

During construction, which began in the spring of 2012, the library has been operating out of a trailer across the street from its new location. 

The project is expected to cost $27.8 million, officials said.

Verriello also gave updates on other libraries under construction, including the new Far Rockaway library — which has 100 percent of its design work completed. 

The East Elmhurst library will need to "reorganize and relocate" funding, he said. Last month, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland blasted the city, specifically the Department of Design and Construction, for delays on the project.

Monday's budget hearing gave library users the chance to share their thoughts, ideas and problems with the dozens of libraries within the system. Comments can also be submitted online through May 6, officials said.

The library's new CEO, Dennis Walcott, said libraries are the "great equalizer" and stressed their importance to the borough.

He visited all 63 branches over six weeks, getting a firsthand look at how they are used.

"We take it for granted, and we shouldn't, that the whole world is available, all for free," he said. 

To give feedback on the library's budget, visit www.queenslibrary.org/budget or mail comments to Budget Feedback c/o Queens Library-GCA, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11432.