The Great Neck Library’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a revised plan for the renovation of the Station branch library at a “special” board meeting on Tuesday night, after months of constructing and reviewing designs with Brooklyn-based MDA designgroup.
The plan calls for turning the leased 6,500-square-foot space above Best Market in Great Neck Plaza into a space with more natural light and new furniture, as well as a “maker space,” open study area and dedicated children’s story area.
Library director Denise Corcoran said the plan also flips the locations of the children’s area and the adult area, includes computers lined along the windows and also hopes to level flooring for better patron mobility.
She also highlighted “ample shelving for our collection” and space for their media collection.
“The plans for the Station branch are a more open floor plan, but also having more usable space for quiet study and for multi-purpose [space] and possible maker space,” Corcoran said.
Marietta DiCamillo, a former library board trustee, expressed concern about the possible costs of “leveling” the Station branch as there is a limited amount of money for the board to work with.
“Hopefully it won’t be too costly,” DiCamillo said.
The Station branch library had moved to its current location in late 2010 from 40B Great Neck Road, just a few doors down and at ground level in the Gardens at Great Neck shopping center.
Naomi Penner, a library patron, said she knows many people who are unhappy about the possible costs and the likelihood of Station branch closing “for weeks, if not months” for the renovations because of their reliance on it.
Consequently, she said, she wants to sit down with someone to get more details because it’s “very concerning.”
“People say, ‘Well, we’ve closed Main [Library] for two years,’ yeah, but we all have cars at Main. So I can get in my car and hop over to Station,” Penner said, noting that many people rely on Station. “These people cannot do this.”
The Main Library, located at 159 Bayview Ave., had undergone a two-year renovation from 2014 to 2016.
This follows the approval of plans for renovating the 5,250-square-foot Parkville branch, a school district-owned property located at 10 Campbell St. in New Hyde Park, earlier this year.
The changes for Parkville would include moving the children’s room to the rear of the building so it can be a larger “hub of learning,” turning the staff area into two meeting rooms and adding more casual seating, according to committee meeting minutes.
Both plans feature the addition of acoustical panels, integrated iPads, and an emphasis on more open space and light.
Great Neck Library Board of Trustees President Robert Schaufeld previously said they hope to have a contractor signed by year’s end and that construction will be a “more involved process.”
He also said that they plan to coordinate construction to keep Parkville and Station from closing at the same time.
Parkville last experienced interior changes in 2013, with then-branch librarian Jayne Alexander noting plans to install new carpet and fresh paint in a 2013 community report.
In the 2014 community report, Alexander wrote that the exterior of the Parkville Branch had “drastically changed” because of new siding, roofing, and greenery around the building.
“The result is that the outside of 10 Campbell Street is now as nice as the renovated inside,” Alexander said at the time.