Hunters Point Library
Set for 2019
BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH
The Hunters Point Library will finally open next
summer, as construction on the building scheduled
to be completed by December of this year, accord-ing
to the New York City Department of Design and
Once construction is completed, control of the
building will be handed over to the Queens Library
who will add furniture, shelves, books, desks and
computer stations among other things.
"We will be in charge of basically turning the
building into a library," said Elisabeth de Bourbon,
communications director for the Queens Library.
Bourbon did not know of any reason that would
prevent the library from opening next year.
The library's construction has been plagued with
setbacks since before it even began. Plans for the
Steven Holl designed concrete building with ink-blot
shaped windows were revealed in 2011. But
construction did not begin to take place until 2015
after fear of overspending was mitigated. A boost
from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer helped the
project move forward.
But disaster still seemed to follow. In 2017, con-struction
22 OCTOBER 2018 I LIC COURIER I www.qns.com
halted when a glass shipment was stopped
due a workers strike in Spain. Glass for the library's
windows had to be purchased in Europe due to limited
glass availability in the United States.
"We have had our challenges with contractors,"
said Thomas Foley, deputy commissioner for the
NYC Department of Design and Construction.The
22,000-square foot library was expected to be opened
early 2017. But financial issues with the building's
contractor Triton Structural, a California-based con-struction
company, and unexpected design additions
kept pushing completion behind schedule.
After construction began, it was decided that the
building needed higher railings and "scope changes"
according to Foley.
But Hunters Point community members are not confi-dent
in the DDC's ability to complete the library on time.
Residents at the Oct. 4 Community Board 2 meeting in
Sunnyside said they were tired of the announcements
of construction setbacks and a lack facilities.
"There are bunch of things that were part of the
original plan that are not going to be included," said
Brent O'Leary, president of the Hunters Point Civic
Association. The last time the Hunters Point Civic
Association was given a walking tour of the library,
it was unclear if the proposed rooftop coffee shop
and reflection pool would be completed.
"When things started getting too expensive they
started cutting," said O'Leary. The initial budget for
the library's construction was $30 million, according to
Foley. The city has now spent $37 million on the project.
"We hope that with Lorraine Grillo she can speed
it up and be more transparent," he added. Grillo was
appointed commissioner of the Department of Design
and Construction in July of this year.
Rendering by Steven Holl Architects