LaGuardia Community College celebrated the completion of a $15 million expansion and renovation of its library last week.
The upgrade more than doubled its original size, giving the school’s 50,000 students more seating, study spaces, group study rooms and enhanced natural light. The design and architectural plans incorporated student input and opinion from the very beginning of the process.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) joined several elected officials and CUNY leaders at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the library’s second floor. Van Bramer secured more than $3.5 million for the project.
“Our libraries represent the best of who we are,” he said. “And for generations of students to come, this library will be an open door for all looking to learn, grow, and through their own self growth, improve our community for the better. All are equal and welcome in this library, and I’m proud to have been a part of this project to transform the library into a modern space that will remind the students of LaGuardia Community College of their incredible potential and worth.”
College President Gail O. Mellow called it “a historic day” for the school and the Long Island City community.
“This modern, expanded library is befitting of the high-quality education we provide our students, and the hard work they put into pursuing their personal and professional goals through education,” Mellow said. “Our student population is largely low-income, new immigrant, or otherwise disadvantages — many face numerous challenges on their way to a college degree, from financial burdens, juggling work, often more than one job, raising children, and other responsibilities — and they deserve and need a convenient, comfortable, elegant space to study and think. And we’re so pleased to give it to them.”
In addition to a 75 percent increase in seating, the expansion provides a new home for the college’s Media Services, where students may borrow laptop computers and access other services.
“The library is the focal point for the entire college, with over 650,000 annual visits by students, making it the most heavily used part of the LaGuardia Community College campus,” U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) said. “By expanding and modernizing the library, LaGuardia is offering students the high-tech library they need. This new and improved library will help LaGuardia’s diverse student body get a great start in building successful futures.”
A second phase of the renovation will upgrade the first floor to match the improvements made to the second floor. Planning is underway and is expected to take two years to complete.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr
©2017 Community News Group
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