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Letter: Library Referendum

On Nov. 19, residents will have the opportunity to support their excellent library system by voting “yes” to renovate and restore the Main library. The renovation plan includes: an enlarged community room on the main floor, expanded reading areas, new mezzanine space, additional study rooms, AV services, automatic front doors, new windows, new lighting, upgrades in the elevator, plumbing, electrical and HVAC, a new roof and upgraded data/communications wiring. Children’s Service will be relocated to the lower level and have its own entrance. The redesigned library  space will display rotating art works and literary exhibits.

The details of the $10.4 million project, which includes the budget, preliminary drawings, space/site and infrastructure development are all available on the Great Neck Library home page. Unlike previous proposals, this proposal is both cost effective and subject to strict oversight. All the discussions leading to the development of this proposal were conducted in open public sessions. Over the past two years residents with professional expertise (architects, engineers and space designers) served on the Building Advisory Committee (BAC) and approved all the recommendations in the referendum. These residents worked with the architect to ensure that our tax money is properly allocated and that the project will be completed within the time frame of 10-12 months. To assure oversight, the proposal includes the hiring of an owner’s representative who will be the “eyes and ears of the board” advising them through the bidding process and keeping everyone accurately informed.

The time has come for the modernization of our library to take place. The exterior of this beautiful stone building will be restored and shine against the backdrop of Udall Pond. This plan, put forth by residents and supported by the trustees, is fiscally responsible and addresses the community’s needs. A “yes” vote on November 19 will put an end to 15 years of “heated discussions and wasted fees,” and allow the library to move forward with a plan built on consensus, common sense and good will.    

Ralene Adler