Russell Gardens plans anniversary celebration

Jessica Ablamsky

In honor of the 80th anniversary of the Village of Russell Gardens, trustees are holding a rain or shine, residents-only celebration Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Village Hall, Village of Russell Gardens Mayor Matthew Bloomfield announced at a trustee meeting Oct. 6.

Festivities will include face painting, balloon twisting, and brunch fare, including bagels and salad.

“We’re having a little get together, nothing fancy,” Bloomfield said. “Just an opportunity for our residents to get together, maybe meet some elected officials.”

Opening the meeting was Great Neck Library Director Jane Marino, who spoke in support of the $20.8 million library bond referendum.

If approved by residents Oct. 25, the Great Neck Library’s Main Branch would be closed for up to two years in a renovation and expansion that would add 8,600-square feet and make the building accessible to patrons with disabilities.

“I also am a supporter,” Bloomfield said. “I think this library is a jewel in our community. This is something we have to do for our kids. They are also our jewels.”

The construction would do away with the library’s mezzanine, make the library ADA compliant, isolate computers, and expand the children’s room, teen center, audiovisual department. It would also create a young adult room.

“I think we need a solid base in the children’s room to create a love of books,” said Marino, a former children’s librarian.

During the closure, Marino said she anticipates extending hours at all the branches, and possibly adding shelves of books to rooms in back of Station Branch.

“I know a lot of your residents will probably come to the new branch because it will be a nicer place to come,” she said.

Of construction managers Park East, she said, “They have a really good record of bringing projects in on time and under budget, and I think they will do the same for us.”

Addressing rampant library construction rumors, she said young adult program Levels will not be ended during library construction and the Main Branch building will not be torn down.

“This building is in desperate of renovation,” Marino said.

The bond would cost an additional $80 per year on a house assessed at $1 million. A previously rejected plan that would renovate the library without expansion would have cost $50 per year.

Reach reporter Jessica Ablamsky by e-mail at or by phone at 516.307.1045 x203


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