Aug. 7, 2018 By Tara Law
Politicians and library officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking yesterday to mark the start of a $3.9 million renovation of the Steinway Library.
The revamp, which is expected to begin later this month, will include the installation of an elevator and a new roof, and repairs to the building’s exterior. The library will be closed temporarily between Aug. 13 and Aug. 18, and then be shut down for 12 months beginning this fall.
The branch, located at 21-45 31 St, is among the Queens Library system’s busiest, serving nearly 200,000 patrons last year, and is in need of modernization, according to library officials.
The modernization effort includes steps to make the building more environmentally friendly, such as energy efficient insulated glazing at the new entrance and an insulated roof.
The branch will be also be made fully ADA accessible upon the completion of the overhaul. An ADA accessible ramp will be installed by the library’s main entrance on 31st Street, and a new elevator will provide access to all levels of the building.
“With these renovations, Queens Library’s Steinway branch will be more technologically efficient, eco-friendly and accessible to everyone,” said Queens Library President Dennis Walcott in a statement.
The revamp includes a new roof and other exterior improvements such as new brickwork.
Additionally, a new book sorting area will be installed near the main entrance and new staff offices will be built in the cellar. The building’s second floor will also be renovated.
Mobile library service will be provided while the the branch is closed.
The project is the second phase of a three-part overhaul of the branch. The first phase was completed in 2010 and included the installation of ADA-compliant bathrooms and self-check-in kiosks.
The timeline for the final phase of the overhaul will be announced after the completion of the second phase. The final stage will include the renovation of the children’s bathrooms, meeting rooms and staff rooms.
Among the officials who attended Monday’s groundbreaking were Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Astoria Councilmember Costa Constantinides, Community Board 1 Chairperson Marie Torniali, State Senator Michael Gianaris and NYC Department of Design and Construction Deputy Commissioner Tom Foley.
“Queens Library is one of our borough’s most treasured institutions, and this $3.9 million renovation will enhance Steinway Library’s long-term structural stability and accessibility to people of all abilities,” Katz said.