Great Neck Library’s Main Building readies for opening

The Island Now

After two years of being closed for renovations, the Great Neck Library Main Building  will reopen next month.
The  library executive director, Kathy Giotsas, said she believes library members will be amazed with the building’s new look.
“The board is really excited. The staff is really excited,” Giotsas said. “And we’re all waiting to showcase the new library.”
The building closed for renovations to the interior and infrastructure on Oct. 29, 2014.
The project was expected to be completed in about a year, but a strike by Verizon employees and several updated construction plans pushed the opening date back.
The Great Neck Library is expected to hold a Grand Opening Gala on Oct. 27, which is an invite-only event, but will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at a later date.
Giotsas said one of the first things library members will notice is the “gorgeous” view.
Big glass windows make up the walls of the renovated building’s ground floor. There is also access to a back outdoor balcony.
Giotsas said the library has a landscape architect  designing an educational garden just outside  the main building, which will be dedicated to Ann Hyde, who attended the Great Neck Library in her childhood and left a donation to the library in her will. Hyde died in June 2014.
Library officials said the Ann Hyde Memorial Children’s Garden would “provide a learning experience as well as a relaxing environment.”
The inside of the main building has an abundance of working spaces with both in-wall and floor outlets and USB ports, something Giotsas said would help library members  work more comfortably.
Giotsas said the building’s community room will be used for large programs, which can be broadcast in other activity rooms in the building, and movie screenings.
The building also has study rooms and quiet rooms with white boards that library members can reserve to have a more peaceful place to work.
One of the biggest renovations, Giotsas said, was the children’s area, which will have two “Crayola kiosks” for education and literacy.
She also said the kiosks will have four iPads for children to use to play various games.
The library’s teen center, Levels, also received a big makeover.
The room has a large stage area, as well as a big open room for the teens to rehearse and work on various projects.
Giotsas said the goal was to create more space for Levels, as well as create handicap access so every teen could be included in the program.
“I think the kids are really, really going to enjoy it,” she said.
 The main building also got renovations to reading rooms and offices, a new roof, insulated windows, a revamping of the HVAC system and new lighting.
Giotsas said the completion of the main building will allow the library to do more for the community.
“With the new building, you have new technologies and now we can focus on working more with the community, the school system, the local businesses and meeting their needs,” she said. “This has taken over all of our time so trying to do additional things is very time consuming.”
“Now we will have time to focus on the community at large,” Giotsas added.

By Joe Nikic

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