By Janee Law
Taxpayers have given the go-ahead on a $14.5 million bond that will help fund a new Half Hollow Hills Library building in Dix Hills, and renovations to the library’s other location in Melville.
The proposal passed, 1,255-632, Tuesday night in a “landslide,” said Helen Crosson, Half Hollow Hills Community Library director.
“I think one of the reasons why people came out to say ‘yes’ is that they know it’s time for change,” Crosson said. “They know this building is 50 years old and it’s time for a change and they wanted to be a part of making that happen.”
Crosson said the ages of Tuesday’s voters ranged 18-to-80 years old. She’s proud of that, calling the turnout “a beautiful thing to see.”
“We have a lot of friends in the community who worked diligently to make sure that the community knew how important this vote was,” Crosson said.
The $14.5 million bond will help fund the planned $19.2 million total construction project, with the remaining $4.7 million coming from library capital reserves. A typical household in the library district will see about a $46.20 tax increase per year, or around $3.85 per month, according to Crosson.
The majority of the funding will go towards the Dix Hills library building construction, but $1 million will go towards improvements to the Melville location, including revamping the parking lot and sidewalks as well as creating an outdoor space to host programs.
As for the new Dix Hills building, Peter Gisolfi, of Peter Gisolfi Associates in Hastings-On-Hudson, has signed on as project architect.
The planned construction will increase the public space of the current 48,000-square-foot building by 50 percent.
The 55 Vanderbilt Parkway location, which has stood in Dix Hills since 1967, currently faces several issues, including narrow book stacks that make it impossible for wheelchairs to travel between them, Crosson said. Parking has also been limited so the plan is to add 10 additional spaces to the existing 130-space lot.
Library officials will begin working with Peter Gisolfi Associates on schematic design and construction documents for the library, Crosson said.
She expects construction to start next year and conclude in spring 2020.
Next fall, while construction is active, the library will temporarily relocate to a different building, according to Crosson, who added that a temporary location has not yet been determined.