Queens Library at Elmhurst hits important milestone

Queens Library President and CEO Thomas Galante (l.-r.), Stalco Construction President Alan Nahmias and Borough President Helen Marshall sign the ceremonial beam. Photo by Karen Frantz
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Queens politicians gathered at the site of the new Queens Library in Elmhurst Monday to commemorate an important milestone in the facility’s construction: the hoisting of the ceremonial final steel beam onto the structure, which is now complete.

“I look forward to the completion of this new facility, which will become an incredible community resource for residents of all ages,” Borough President Helen Marshall said.

Marshall allocated more than $27 million for the new library, which is expected to open to the public next year. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) also provided funding for the project.

“It’s a good investment in the future of this community and will reap dividends for years to come,” Marshall said. “The richness of Queens, no one else can brag about that.”

The new 30,000-square-foot library will be twice the size of the old facility, making it the second largest library in the borough.

It will have three times the amount of space as the old building for educational and arts programming and will feature separate areas for adults, teens and children, a Cyber Center with 32 computers, an Adult Learning Center, an indoor reading atrium and community gardens in the front and back of the building.

“One of the central elements of the old library was the garden that was out front here, and it’s so wonderful to know that there will be a beautiful garden again for the community,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who attended the event.

The library is also being built with a percentage of recycled materials and will use power fixtures that use reduced voltage and wattage, making it energy efficient.

The general contractor for the project is Stalco Construction Inc. and the architect and interior designer is Marpillero Pollak Architects.

Dromm also attended the event and praised the work on the new library.

“Now that these beams have been put up, we actually can get a real feel for what it’s actually going to look like when it’s finally completed,” Dromm said. “That gives the community a great sense of hope, to know that this library is going to be completed fairly soon.”

He also said that particularly for communities with a large immigrant population, such as Elmhurst, libraries are a place where people go not only to check out books, but to look for jobs, learn English or send their children for after-school programs.

“Libraries are so much more than what we think libraries were in the past,” he said. “They are vitally important resources for our communities for many, many reasons.”

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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