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December 05, 2016

East Elmhurst Community Library Kicks Off Major Expansion, Renovation

Ian Michaels

Dan Leibel

East Elmhurst, NY –  Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) joined with Queens Library President Dennis Walcott, local elected officials including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, and representatives from Queens Community Board 3 today to celebrate the beginning of an $8.9 million project to expand and renovate the East Elmhurst Community Library.  The library, built in 1971 as a 7,360-square-foot brown brick structure at 95-08 Astoria Boulevard, will add 4,500-square-feet of space in the project, which is due to be completed in fall 2018.

An artist’s rendering of the future expanded and renovated East Elmhurst Community Library
An artist’s rendering of the future expanded and renovated East Elmhurst Community Library

“City libraries are not just centers of learning, but also valuable community meeting and activity space,” said DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora. “DDC will extend the building on two sides in a design that incorporates the façade of the existing building in a new glass room along Astoria Boulevard, all while making the building environmentally sustainable and efficient. We’re very pleased to work with the Queens Library to meet the needs of this growing neighborhood.”

“Everyone who uses East Elmhurst Community Library -- whether it’s to exercise, read, learn, go online or work -- has made it clear that they need more space, and we are thrilled we’re going to deliver for them,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “On behalf of Queens Library and the 83,000 customers who rely each year on this library, I extend my gratitude to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough President Katz and Council Member Ferreras-Copeland for allocating the dollars for the project and to Commissioner Peña-Mora and his team at the Department of Design and Construction for executing it.”

“East Elmhurst is a rapidly-growing community of families that relies on the East Elmhurst Community Library as a center of learning, literacy and culture for residents of all ages,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The expansion of the East Elmhurst Community Library will create a magnificent, state-of-the-art addition to this treasured community facility. Today’s groundbreaking on this expansion project is a key milestone and one we should all take pride in as we eagerly await the project’s completion.”

“The Queens Public Library is a crucial resource for seniors, students, immigrants and families in my district,” said City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. “We not only use the space for its collections but use our local library as a place to bond with our children, learn new languages and immerse in cultural programming. Expanding the East Elmhurst branch to meet the needs of my community is an important investment that I am pleased is coming to fruition. I look forward to the reopening of a beautiful, renovated facility and to continuing my advocacy for the Queens Public Library at City Hall during this year’s budget process.” 

"This project will modernize the East Elmhurst Community Library and bring it into the future’” said State Senator Jose Peralta. “This is not just an educational center where kids do their homework and adults read and learn activities, this library is a community center, and once the project is completed, will increase its space by more than 4,000 square foot. As the library approaches its 50th anniversary, the renovation will benefit the entire community. I applaud the Department of Design and Construction and the Queens Library for a much-needed and demanded modernization that is expected to be completed in the next two years."     

Expansion of the front of the library building will allow for a multi-purpose assembly space that will be able to accommodate up to 120 people. The building’s side expansion will house part of the assembly space plus an interior reading court with skylight and a computer room. 

The new library will meet standards for LEED Silver certification and will contain several  sustainability features including natural lighting, natural air ventilation, solar panels, active heat recovery ventilation, and insulated glazing that will use a suspended plastic film to triple the building’s thermal resistance.

Funding came from the offices of Borough President Katz and Councilmember Ferreras-Copeland.  The project is being managed by DDC for the Queens Library. The design consultant for the project is Garrison Architects in Manhattan and construction is being performed by the National Environmental Safety Co. of Long Island City.

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