The Queens Library in Elmhurst says it completed foundation work today, July 25, on its new $27.8-million library, which will be nearly triple the size of the library it replaces. The original structure was demolished earlier this year. While construction continues on the new library, a temporary building located at 51st Avenue and Broadway is providing library service.

Rendering Courtesy of Marpillero Pollak Architects
Bricks taken from the original library will be used in the new structure.

Construction of the new three-story, 30,000-sq-ft structure began last March and is scheduled for completion in 2014. The library, designed by New York-based Marpillero Pollak Architects, will include a “cyber center” with 32 computers; an adult learning space; an interior reading atrium; front and rear gardens; as well as a “memory wall” and a local history collection area to preserve the library’s legacy in Elmhurst.

Bricks taken from the original building will be used in the new library’s façade and a historic children’s room fireplace will be relocated to the new space. General contractor Stalco Construction, Islandia, N.Y., is aiming for the project to achieve LEED Silver certification through use of green roofs and energy-efficient materials, says Alan Nahmias, Stalco principal. The library will also be one of the first projects to incorporate New York City’s new Active Design Guidelines, Nahmias says.

The project team also includes structural engineer Severud Associates, New York; MEP engineer Ambrosino & DePinto Consulting Engineers, New York; and lighting designer/landscape architect Wallace Roberts & Todd, Philadelphia.

The library says that construction challenges with this site include limited space for material storage, because two busy streets border the site. The project team managed to secure two one-lane, street-closure permits for Broadway and 51st Avenue for the coordination of material delivery, staging, and the removal of excavation.