Queens Public Library, City and Elected Officials Reveal Design for the New Rego Park Library
Rego Park, NY (July 28, 2021)—Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott was joined today by NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, State Senators Toby Ann Stavisky and Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., New York City Council Member Karen Koslowitz and community leaders to unveil the design for the new Rego Park Library.
DDC presented plans for the new, state-of-the-art building at 91-41 63rd Drive, which will replace the current 7,500-square-foot one-story facility that opened in 1975. The new 18,000-square-foot two-story library, with estimated design and construction costs budgeted at $33.2 million, will more than double the size of the original library and will feature separate reading rooms for children and teens, as well as additional space for computer access and for educational programs and community activities.
Designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architects, the new library will offer greater access to free resources, technology and opportunity to the growing Rego Park community and beyond. It will incorporate innovative design, visual comfort including glare control, balanced acoustic design, natural light, ergonomics, weather and water tightness, ease of maintenance and use, and energy efficiency.
The Rego Park branch is among the busiest in the borough, serving – under regular circumstances – nearly 200,000 people a year and lending about 190,000 items each year. It reopened for to-go service last August, after QPL temporarily closed the Library’s physical locations in March 2020 to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The branch expanded service for computer use, browsing and in-person reference on May 24. Since then, Rego Park has been among the top 10 QPL branches for check-outs, number of visitors and computer sessions.
The project, which is being managed by DDC, is anticipated to begin construction in winter 2022 with an estimated completion date of summer 2025.
“The Department of Design and Construction’s outstanding design reflects the progress we have made towards providing this growing community a much larger, modern library with spaces that will uplift and inspire our customers as they access a world of free information, resources, services and opportunity,” said QPL President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “I want to extend my deepest thanks to Council Member Karen Koslowitz for her decades-long advocacy and financial support for a new library, and to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and his predecessor Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz for securing the funds needed to build it.”
“DDC’s design for the new Rego Park Library greatly expands the available space and takes into account environmental sustainability and user comfort to create a friendly and enriching environment for both adults and younger people,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer. “Libraries are centers of learning as well as valuable community spaces and this project achieves both of those goals.”
"The residents of Rego Park have been waiting for the construction of a new library for a very long time, but thankfully we're here today to see this next step forward," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. "The designs revealed today show the new Rego Park library will be a first-class facility that will meet and exceed the educational, cultural and occupational demands of this vibrant community. Libraries are community hubs that are centers of learning, literacy and culture, and the new Rego Park library will certainly fulfill this promise."
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said, “I am proud to have played a role, as the former Borough President, in helping to bring a new, modern library to the neighborhood. This larger, upgraded facility will provide a safe place for children and teens. When this makeover is complete, it will give our seniors and everyone else in the surrounding area greater access to computers, community activities and, of course, thousands of entertaining and educational books to read.”
“Queens Public Library (QPL) has been serving our borough for well over a century,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “During the COVID-19 pandemic I was proud to take part in their Virtual Read Along series, which was just one example of the creative ways the Library continues to engage and interact with the community. With this new state-of-the-art facility, I believe QPL’s potential impact on Rego Park and the surrounding community is limitless.”
“I am proud to stand here today with my friends at Queens Public Library and DDC to unveil the new design for the Rego Park Library,” State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said. “Whenever a library undergoes a complete makeover it is a chance to update and improve an important community resource. I look forward to being back here to open the new branch and check out all of the amazing upgrades, while also welcoming the community back.”
“Rego Park desperately needs an enlarged library. This was also the case over twenty years ago when I was able to get an approval for a new library. Over the years, the project was unable to get underway because the financial goalposts kept changing and additional funding had to be secured,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz. “Today, I can say with confidence, thanks to the support of four past and present borough presidents, four past and present council speakers and Mayor de Blasio, this library project is finally on its’ way to completion.”
“I truly appreciate the time and effort that Queens Public Library and the Department of Design and Construction has put into the design for our new library,” said District Manager for Queens Community Board 6 Frank Gulluscio. “We enthusiastically look forward to the project coming to fruition for our community.”
“The students, families and staff of P.S. 139 are all very excited about the plans for our new local public library and we extend a very heartfelt thanks to all that are making this possible,” said Eleuterio Rolon, Jr., Principal of P.S. 139 in Rego Park. “Our local library has always been an important part of the community and we look forward to many more years of partnership for the benefit of all of our students.”
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 66 locations, including 62 branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology lab, and two teen centers.
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 $15.5 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.