The closed Thursday to begin an extensive remodeling project that is projected to last until early 2012 bringing it up to speed in areas it was deficient and modernizing existing spaces.
“It is good news for library patrons at Kings Park who have been waiting so patiently for this to begin,” said Library Director Robert Lusack.
Renovations were originally projected to begin earlier this year, however a particularly harsh winter set the back a few weeks. The renovated building is expected to open within a few weeks and will be followed by the closing if the main Smithtown branch.
Patrons can expect to see a new 1500 sq ft. children’s department as well as a handicap accessible elevator. The current lift was not working and outdated.
The project is designated as LEED certified, a process which promotes green and sustainable development through such things as energy efficiency, green materials and other criteria. According to Lusack, heating and cooling systems will be upgraded and energy efficient, cleaning products will be environmentally friendly and new windows will be energy efficient as well.
Each of the updated branches will have something that sets it apart from the others to give it character and charm.
“Kings Park will have a nautical theme. Seagulls, scallop shells and starfish will be found in hand painted murals by the reference desk and children’s section,” he said.
“Everything will be touched. In areas we can reuse items we will such as adding new end panels to existing shelves. In Commack the remodel was seamless. You can’t tell the old from the new,” said Lusack.
In additon to a new and larger children's sections the teen area will be updated and wi-fi will be available throughout the building.
Assistant Director Sue McManus directed staff and movers as they packed up the thousands of books and objects that will be put into storage as the renovations take place. Books will be placed in a storage facility until the building is ready.
“Patrons who have books checked out will be able to use the book drop in the front of the building for a few more weeks. After that, patrons can return at any of the other open branches,” said McManus.
Due to safety reasons the playground behind the library will be closed during renovations.
Ann Riker, a Kings Park resident and library clerk was looking forward to the update and will be working at the Commack branch during the construction.
“It is going to be beautiful. We are excited about the changes,” she said.