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Richmond Hill Library to Close for Nearly 2 Years for $8.26M Renovation

 The Richmond Hill Library serves the neighborhoods of Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens.
The Richmond Hill Library serves the neighborhoods of Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — The Richmond Hill Library will close this winter for nearly two years in order to undergo a $8.26 million overhaul, the library said.

The building, at 118-14 Hillside Ave., opened in 1905 as one of 67 Carnegie libraries built with funds provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York

But more than 100 years later, its roof is leaking, plumbing is outdated and stairs are crumbling, library patrons said.

The branch is slated to close in December 2017 or January 2018 and will reopen in the fall of 2019, the library said.

As part of the overhaul, the building's interior will undergo gut renovations, including the installation of a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. An elevator and fully accessible restrooms, as well as entrance ramp, will also be installed.

Old furniture will be replaced by new shelving and computer equipment, and library-goers will be able to check out books quicker thanks to a new automated system.

The plan also includes landscaping improvements around the building, the library said.

“The renderings are being developed and we plan to present them to the city’s Public Design Commission this summer,” Queens Library spokeswoman Elisabeth de Bourbon said in an email.

While the building is closed, a temporary trailer offering various library services, including access to books and computers, will be placed at the site, the library said.

Each year, approximately 174,000 people visit the Richmond Hill branch, borrowing about 163,200 items per year, according to the Queens Library. The branch also serves Kew Gardens, which does not have its own library.

Funds for the renovations have been allocated by Councilmembers Karen Koslowitz and Eric Ulrich, state Sen. Leroy Comrie, Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor Bill de Blasio, the library said.