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September 6, 2017

Newly Renovated Kew Gardens Hills Library Opens in Queens

Dan Leibel

Kew Gardens, NY – The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) joined Queens Public Library President Dennis Walcott, state and local elected officials, and community stakeholders today to celebrate the completion of the newly renovated Kew Gardens Hills Library at 72-33 Vleigh Place in Queens. A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the reopening of the 51-year-old library, which underwent an $8.1 million renovation that expanded the facility and made it fully ADA-accessible.

The project increased the size of the library by 3,000-square-feet to 11,660-square-feet. The building has also been upgraded with state-of-the-art electrical, plumbing, temperature control and fire protection systems. Its large windows allow for natural light to enter deep into the building, which reduces the building’s carbon footprint. Additionally, the building is certified LEED Silver for environmental sustainability, and has a new green roof that helps shrink energy costs and better manages stormwater runoff.

Community members at the Kew Gardens Library
Community members at the Kew Gardens Hills Library after its ribbon cutting ceremony on September 6th

“The Kew Garden Hills Library is a valuable resource for the community, as it promotes sustainability and equity within the neighborhood, providing access to educational tools for children and adults,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “The building’s unique design gives the community a landmark with character, which residents can turn to as a hub of education and opportunity. Libraries are essential to the collective growth of our City, as they enable individuals to expand their understandings of the world and of each other. We thank the Queens Library system for their partnership.”

"We’ve developed a collection and are offering services that recognize the needs of a diverse and dynamic community and live up to the ideals expressed by this outstanding renovation and expansion,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We are grateful to everyone who worked so hard to deliver a library that will inspire our customers to learn, discover and pursue their dreams.”

"The reopening of the Kew Gardens Hills library is long overdue, and marks an important moment for our community,” said City Councilmember Rory I. Lancman. “With renovations now finished, the Kew Gardens Hills library will truly be a state-of-the-art building, complete with additional space, new technology, ADA-accessible facilities, and an innovative environmentally friendly design. I am thrilled that children and adults in our community will once again be able to take advantage of the vast educational resources available at the Kew Gardens Hills library."

DDC’s project team
DDC’s project team in front of the newly renovated Kew Gardens Hills Library

In addition to being one of the City’s most sustainable libraries, the Kew Gardens Hills branch offers a unique architectural design which welcomes the community, incorporating materials such as metal tiles, a polycarbonate ceiling and glass fiber paneling. The interior of the space was outfitted with partitions to allow for work spaces, a general reading room, a children’s corner, offices, new restrooms, a reference desk and a community room.

In response to requests from the community and the Queens Library System, DDC constructed a nearby “swing space” to provide uninterrupted library service for residents during construction.

The library’s intricate design can be attributed to DDC’s Guiding Principles, which stress sustainability, resiliency, healthy living and equity. Kew Gardens Hills Library was designed to incorporate all of those elements, with active design and community engagement as additional priorities.

Consultants for the project included Work Architecture Co., Lilker Associates, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, ADS Engineers, Noresco, Inc. and Tectonic Engineering. Contractors were S&N Builders, Inc., Eastern Plumbing and Heating, Midtown HVAC Enterprises and Q&Y Electric Co.

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 lenses 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, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 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