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Nov 30, 2018 12:28 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Quogue Library Officials Break Ground On $3.5 Million Expansion Project On Saturday

Bobcats clear the path to move the Quogue Schoolhouse closer to the road. VALERIE GORDON
Dec 4, 2018 12:48 PM

The Quogue Library broke ground on a $3.5 million renovation and expansion project on Saturday, marking the start of the building’s second expansion in 18 years.

Plans, prepared by Guy Horvath of Austin Patterson Disston Architects in Quogue, include a second-floor addition to accommodate an administrative center for staff, as well as a boardroom, and a renovated first floor featuring an innovation lab and technology center, young adults rooms, a small conference room, a director’s office, and a kitchen.

Additionally, contractors with Sea Level Construction will bump out the rear of the building to accommodate increased children’s programming, nearly doubling the size of the children’s room. An enclosed porch will also be added to the expanded space.

In total, the renovations will add an additional 4,500 square feet to the current 5,700-square-foot building, according to Library Director Lonna Theiling. The nine-month construction is expected to be completed by fall 2019.

In the meantime, the library, which was temporarily closed from November 12 to December 2 to prepare for the expansion, will operate out of a satellite location at 4 Midland Street—next to the Quogue Post Office—where patrons are able to return or check out library books, DVDs and audio books, starting Monday.

Meanwhile, library programs for both adults and children will be offered at the Quogue Firehouse, in the meeting room.

According to Lynda Confessore, chairwoman of the building committee for the project, the demand for library services expanded rapidly with the building’s renovation in 2000, which added separate rooms for reading, computer access, and programs, as well as an expanded art gallery.

And the library has continued to grow. Compared to last year, Ms. Theiling said that the library has seen an increase in visitors, programming, and circulation, noting that from January to June, 22,622 patrons visited the library—an increase from 19,295 patrons last year. Additionally, a total of 10,526 items were checked out this year, as opposed to 8,843 in 2017.

On Saturday, Ms. Theiling, as well as Library Board President Barbara Sartorius, Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius, and Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman kicked off the celebration, digging shovels into the ground and tossing dampened dirt into the air.

“It’s quite possible that, 121 years ago, members of the Quogue community stood at the same spot, shovels in hand, to break the ground for the first public library in this small town,” Ms. Confessore said.

The final phase of the library’s fund-raising campaign, “Finishing the Story,” kicks off this week with a new $100,000 Matching Challenge grant donated by Quogue long-time resident Kevin Crowe, Sr. and an anonymous donor. Thanks to their generosity, each new gift to the campaign will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000 through January 7, 2019.

“Today, Quogue seems to be following the same script,” Ms. Confessore said.

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