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May 14, 2019 4:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Montauk Library Expansion Vote Is Tuesday

A rendering of Montauk Library expansion. COURTESY GALLIN BEELER DESIGN STUDIO
May 14, 2019 4:18 PM

Montauk voters will be asked on Tuesday, May 21, to approve a $7.5 million bond to expand and renovate the Montauk Library.

The bond referendum will be held at the Montauk School from 2 to 8 p.m.

Denise DiPaolo, the library director, this week said the library has been receiving “tremendous support and positive feedback” at a number of community input sessions.

The 20-year cost of the $7.5 million bond would work out to an annual cost of about $80 per year for an “average” Montauk homeowner.

“The residents of Montauk understand the value of an updated, innovative and forward-thinking library,” Ms. DiPaolo said on Monday. “They understand the importance of the expansion, knowing that we are responding to meet the needs of the community as a whole.”

Currently, library officials have said, the almost-30-year-old building has leaky windows that are not up to hurricane standards, spaces that are difficult for the handicapped to access, plumbing problems that caused the first-floor bathrooms to be shut down, a roof in need of replacement, and a need for an eco-friendly septic system and an indoor sprinkler system in case of fire.

During the community input sessions, Ms. DiPaolo said, the staff and library’s board of trustees mostly answered questions about the sustainability features of the project, such as an accessible landscaped “green roof” space with native plantings, vertical-axis wind turbines, solar panels on the south-facing roof, a low-nitrogen septic system, and an electric vehicle recharging station, to name a few.

In addition, the people in attendance exchanged ideas about the Local History and Fishermen’s Center, which will present the history of Montauk through exhibits, galleries and other means. Community members also plan to expand youth services and programs, Ms. DiPaolo said.

The library is currently 9,000 square feet, and 5,000 square feet of new space will be created by filling in portions of the existing mezzanine space, adding a second level above the existing bay window, moving one of the exit stairs to an addition at the north end of the building and creating an addition and new entry on the east side of the building.

“I have to say, we have not received any negativity or pushback from anyone to date,” Ms. DiPaolo said. “It’s been a pleasure presenting our plans to all.”

If the project is approved, the bid process will begin this fall, with construction beginning in December, and the new library opening late fall of 2020.

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