Patrons who stepped into the newly renovated Kings Park Library took a moment to get their bearings as they tried to compare the old with the new, a signal library director Robert Lusak took as a good one.
"We know we've done a good job when they step in and it feels brand new to them," said Lusak.
Renovations, which began in April of 2011, are now complete and include a new and expanded children's room, a self-checkout area and a community room with audio visual capabilities.
The library is also now handicapped accessible, with a working elevator, something it had not been in the past and is now ADA compliant. Longtime resident, John Gallager remarked that his son who is in his 40's and requires a wheelchair, has never been inside the building.
"He can come here on his own now and socialize. He will probably be able to see a lot of his friends he hasn't seen in awhile," said Gallagher.
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All four libraries in the Smithtown Special Library district closed at different times over the past two years to undergo renovations, which have now all been completed. The Kings Park branch was the last to open.
"It's long overdue," said Lusak. "Our hands were tied on some things, but we are very excited to have them all open."
Patrons slowly filed into the building, admiring new paint, carpeting, tables and lighting.
Library board president Joe Vallone, a resident of Kings Park said, "we've finally got our library back."
"The building just compliments the village of Kings Park and will attract more people to the downtown area," said Vallone.
According to Lusak, the community room is now big enough to handle classes that in the past, the library couldn't accommodate.
"We can host cooking classes now, music classes and even dancing. That's what these spaces are for, they are for the community. The expansion has opened many doors," said Lusak.
The room, which can be booked by community members, also has ceiling mounted A/V hook up and the ability for PowerPoint presentations.
A space for teens was also carved out, with a raised cafe style and comfy seating.
"They are the long forgotten age group," said Lusak. "They don't want to be in the kid or grown up rooms. You sort of lose them, we didn't want that."
The building is LEED certified and has new, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, insulated glass pane windows and used low emission paints and carpeting.
Kings Park resident, Kate Lindstat, brought her little one by to see the new space.
"I am very excited for the children's classes. It looks beautiful," she said.
Programs will begin this week on a drop in basis Sign ups will begin for November classes on Oct. 25.
"It's beautiful," said civic and chamber of commerce member, Jack Hessel. "It took a long time for this baby to be born, but now that it is here, it's beautiful."