Today’s news:

New Glen Oaks library slated for May opening

The new Glen Oaks library is set to open its doors this month. Rendering courtesy Queens Library
TimesLedger Newspapers

A new state-of-the-art library in Glen Oaks will open its doors for business by the end of May, the Queens Library System said.

A temporary library, at 255-01 Union Turnpike, will close for good by the end of business Friday after opening more than three years ago, making way for the new building’s opening two weeks later, at 256-04 Union Turnpike, said Joanne King, communications director of the Queens Library.

“This has been a very anticipated opening in Glen Oaks,” King said. “It has taken a long time to fund and build a library, but we now have a very unique building nearly doubling the size of the previous one.”

A spokesman forMarble Fairbanks, an architecture, design and research group, said it took 15 designers to draft plans for the new library with hopes of delivering new opportunities for patrons to meet and interact. The building received several awards from the city Department of Design and Construction for design excellence.

The new building will replace a 50-year-old building that became known for overcrowding and limited space, King said.

After a decade of planning, more than three years of building and roughly $17.1 million, the new 18,000-square-foot, award-winning Glen Oaks facility was erected three floors tall and boasts a widely celebrated glass exterior, satisfying the library’s aim to provide a civic identity to the community, said Marble Fairbanks. It will include a sweeping interior stairway, separate areas equipped with computer workstations for adults, children and teens, a unique sky-lit lounge and two meeting rooms, the library said.

Initial calls for a new library in Glen Oaks started more than 10 years ago when state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) represented the area in the City Council. He eventually passed the baton over to his brother, now Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), to complete the fund-raising with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office to underwrite the project.

“There are going to be a lot of services that will benefit the community in Glen Oaks,” Mark Weprin said. “It is going to be a beautiful, very unique-looking library.”

Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich said his community was excited to usher in a new library after so many years in waiting. He said he worked with designers in the early drafting phases to make sure the new building outdid the old one, which he described as a concrete box.

“When the architects presented the original plan to the community, I suggested that they create an outdoor reading area adjacent to the building with chairs and tables,” Friedrich said. “They incorporated my suggestions into the final design. Many of our seniors will be able to sit outside and read in the fresh air.”

In the two-week interim after the temporary building closes, King said patrons were welcome to use any of the Queens Library’s other locations, including those at 250-06 Hillside Ave. in Bellerose or 79-50 Bell Blvd. in Windsor Park.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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