QPL President & CEO Dennis M. Walcott, elected officials, and community leaders reopen East Elmhurst Library.

East Elmhurst, NY, June 28, 2019—Queens Public Library (QPL) and the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) joined with the community and local elected officials today to celebrate the re-opening of the East Elmhurst Community Library after a $9.9 million expansion and renovation that was managed by DDC for QPL.

“The renovation and expansion have transformed East Elmhurst Library into an even more inviting oasis of learning and opportunity for all,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “With more room for books, periodicals, computers and programs, the branch is sure to become busier than ever before. We are extremely grateful to our current and former City leaders for securing the capital funds needed to cover the cost of the project, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, the late Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Council Member Francisco Moya and former Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. I also would like to commend DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo and her team for their hard work in delivering a spectacular building to the community.”

“Libraries are important centers of community learning and community gathering, and the expanded East Elmhurst Library will serve this community well for decades to come,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “The project team did a remarkable job executing a design that is efficient yet elegant, resulting in a beautiful new facility that also meets the standards for LEED Silver certification.”

“The families of East Elmhurst deserve a state-of-the-art library worthy of the 83,000 people who walk through its doors each year. With today’s grand opening of this newly expanded and upgraded library branch, that’s exactly what this community will enjoy for years to come,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Our libraries are the anchors of our neighborhoods, and East Elmhurst’s beautiful new center for learning, literacy and culture is something all residents can be proud to call their own.”

“I couldn’t be happier to see this project finally come to fruition and for the new, state-of-the-art East Elmhurst Community Library to re-open its doors to the public,” said Council Member Francisco Moya. “Libraries are public cathedrals—temples for exploration and discovery. Not only are they repositories for literary works but for so many people, our libraries are their best portals to internet access. I also want to commend the library and the Department of Design and Construction for developing a facility with climate change and sustainability in mind. I’m proud to have helped fund this project and I applaud all those who made this possible.”

“I am so happy to help celebrate the newly expanded and renovated East Elmhurst Community Library,” said Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry. “I encourage families to make use of the many enhanced features such as an extended and modernized teen area, and a new state-of-the-art community meeting room. The library also boasts a new enclosed open space, perfect for reading a good book anytime of the year. I would like to thank Borough President Melinda Katz, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Member Francisco Moya and former Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland for making this possible. Special thanks to former East Elmhurst library manager Johnnie Dent. Without her vision and tenacity this day would not have happened. And thank you to Helen Marshall, former Borough President, who supported our dream no matter what.”

“We are elated to see this long awaited project come to fruition,” said Community Board 3 District Manager Giovanna Reid. “We thank everyone that played a role in bringing about this first-class state-of-the-art facility to our community.”

The newly renovated East Elmhurst Library.

The East Elmhurst Community Library at 95-06 Astoria Boulevard opened in 1972 as a 7,352-square-foot brown brick structure. The project added 4,290 square feet of space to the building, including an interior courtyard with an underground irrigation system and a reading space. In the rear of the building the project added a new 1,665-square-foot patio and garden area.

The old façade of the building has been enclosed inside a continuous glass wall along Astoria Boulevard. An expanded teen area was added to the facility with computers and lounge seating, plus reading tables and benches. A new meeting room was also added for up to 173 people with a separate entrance for after-hours access for the community and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment. The additions include a pantry for food preparation plus two new restrooms. In the original part of the building, the layout of the adult room was enhanced and new furniture was installed.

The new structure is anticipated to meet the standards for LEED Silver certification and contains several sustainability features including skylights for natural lighting, natural air ventilation, active heat recovery ventilation and insulated glazing that uses a suspended plastic film to triple the building’s thermal resistance.

Borough President Melinda Katz allocated $3 million for the project, adding to $4 million previously allocated by the late Borough President Helen Marshall, with the remaining $2.9 million from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Member Francisco Moya and former Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.

The general contractor for the project was National Environmental Safety Co. of New Hyde Park. Design was by Garrison Architects of Brooklyn. Also contributing to the project were Robert Sillman Associates (structural), Plus Group Engineering P.C. (mechanical, electrical and plumbing), Wohl & O’Mara LLP (civil), Judith Heintz (landscape) and Cline Bettridge Bernstein LD (lighting).


About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.

About Queens Public Library
Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded in 1896, Queens Public Library offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 87,500 educational, cultural, and civic programs a year. It consists of 65 locations, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology lab, two universal pre-kindergartens, and two teen centers.

Media Contacts:
QPL: Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, 718-990-0706, ekern@queenslibrary.org
DDC: Ian Michaels, 718-391-1589, MichaelsI@ddc.nyc.gov