NHP residents rip GN library regarding Parkville branch

Evan Nemeroff

Now that renovations have been completed at the Station Branch library in Great Neck, visitors of the Parkville Branch library in New Hyde Park want to know when the Great Neck Library will make improvements to their branch.

“New Hyde Park feels like a step child to Great Neck,” said Marianna Wohlgemuth, a New Hyde Park resident and president of the Lakeville Estates Civic Association. “Our tax dollars are not being spent properly.”

Wohlgemuth said the condition of the Parkville Branch Library, which is operated by the Great Neck Library, was “disgusting” with duct tape covering holes on the floor and tiles missing on the ceilings.

Sheila Zuckermandel has lived in New Hyde Park for 41 years and she said the Parkville Branch has been treated like a second-class citizen by Great Neck Library trustees. Zuckermandel also noted that there is also no bus service from the New Hyde Park library to the Great Neck libraries for any person who cannot drive.

“Money is never found for the Parkville Branch, but we pay Great Neck taxes where all the money is spent on Great Neck libraries,” Zuckermandel said. “The library is not inviting because it looks old and needs a new face. Families are moving into the area and they deserve to have a good looking library. Parkville has been forgotten.”

The Parkville Branch, located at 10 Campbell Street in New Hyde Park, is one of three branch libraries for the Great Neck Library. The other two branches are both in Great Neck with the Station Branch located at 26 Great Neck Road and the Lakeville Branch located at 475 Great Neck Road.

New Hyde Park homeowners who live north of Haddon Road and west of Gerard Avenue are part of the Great Neck school district. Residents who live on 80th Avenue in Queens from 2703 to 2767 also pay taxes to the Great Neck school district.

Great Neck library officials acknowledged that improvements should be made to the Parkville Branch, but said the Parkville Branch has not been ignored.

Great Neck Library trustee Josie Pizer said more than $500,000 was spent in 1999 on the Parkville Branch for renovations and upgrades to the facility.

“Does the library need renovations now, the answer is yes,” Pizer said. “We are aware that the branch needs changes and we have been in the process of thinking about upgrading the facility for the last seven months.”

Library trustee Janet Eshaghoff said the Parkville Branch property is owned by the Great Neck school district, which restricts what type of upgrades the library can perform. The library sits adjacent to the Parkville School Early Childhood Center where pre-K children from Great Neck attend.

“We are constrained by our landlord regarding the space of library,” Eshaghoff said. “We are considering moving uptown to a separate location. We are exploring other options right now.”

Library trustee Varda Solomon said there is a state policy that says a library does not have the right to build on a property it does not own. Solomon said the library needs to obtain permission from the school board before beginning any type of construction on the building.

“The Great Neck Library has submitted information to John Powell, assistant superintendent of business for the Great Neck Public Schools, regarding how much square footage we would like to add on to the library,’ Solomon said. “We need feedback from the board of trustees and the Parkville Branch committee to know what they want before we hire an architect.”

Mindy Norman is a resident of Roslyn who has used the Parkville Library for 35 years because it is her favorite facility, but she said the facility needs to be larger.

“This is a small library, but it offers great resources,” Norman said. “The people are friendly and there is a good supply of materials here, but the library needs to be bigger because it is too small.”

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Evan Nemeroff

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