Libraries in Ozone Park and Rockaway will undergo long-needed renovation work, following Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder’s (D-Rockaway Park) announcement this week that more than $700,000 is headed the way of the two facilities.
The assemblyman helped to secure $741,070 through the Public Library Construction Grant Program to help renovate the Ozone Park Community Library and the Sandy-damaged Peninsula Public Library in Rockaway Beach, he said Monday.
“Our libraries play an important role in educating our children and families,” Goldfeder said. “This additional grant funding will go a long way to improve our libraries and help cover the costs of some much-needed renovations.”
Of the more than $700,000 grant money, $582,654 will go to the Peninsula site, located on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, and $158,416 will go to Ozone Park, situated at 92-24 Rockaway Blvd.
After being severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy at the end of October 2012, the Peninsula Community Library is slated to open its doors early next year. The funding from the grant program will help to cover expenses for interior renovations, including a handicapped accessible bathroom, electrical work, signage, a new roof, and a security camera system. Additionally, the funds will help to rebuild the new children’s section and the adult learning center.
At Ozone Park, the grant money will go towards restrooms, ceilings and lighting, doors, electrical upgrades, and HVAC ductwork.
Goldfeder stressed the significant need to financially help libraries across the state. A recent survey documented that about 48 percent of the 1,000 public library buildings in communities across the state more than 60 years old, and another 30 percent are more than three decades old.
“Our public libraries are in need of urgent rebuilding, renovation, and upgrading,” Goldfeder said. “Every dime will help ensure our libraries are properly maintained and continue to serve our communities in southern Queens and Rockaway.”
By Anna Gustafson