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May 26, 2010 1:02 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Westhampton Free Library to open June 26

May 26, 2010 1:02 PM

WESTHAMPTON BEACH—The Westhampton Free Library will open its new $7.8 million facility next month, nearly 22 months after the 100-year-old library closed its doors at 7 Library Avenue to make way for the new building, officials announced on Tuesday.

The new library will open on Saturday, June 26, at 1 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The trailer at 28 Library Avenue that has temporarily housed the library during the construction of the new facility will close on Sunday, June 13, to allow time to move books and other content to the new 14,250-square-foot building.

The Westhampton Free Library’s Board of Trustees attended a brief gathering Tuesday, during which Michael Lennon, the board’s president, announced the grand opening. Members said they are pleased with the finished product and excited to see the new building open.

“We followed the design of what everybody wanted to see,” said Esther Glazer, another library trustee.

Mr. Lennon thanked the community for their patience and support.

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank the community for using the library during this project and continually asking, ‘When will you be open?’” he said while reading from a prepared statement. “We are excited for it to open as well.”

During the two-week period in which the library will be closed, cardholders can access their accounts online, use electronic resources that the library offers, or use other area libraries, according to Matthew Bollerman, the library director. Materials can be returned in the book drop at the new building during the time that the library will be closed.

The hours of operation at the new library will stay the same, Mr. Bollerman said. The Westhampton Free Library is open from 9 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

The new two-story building will likely achieve gold standard Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, and the library board expects a formal announcement of that achievement this fall. Mr. Lennon said. The Library Avenue building has to meet certain regulations for light fixtures, faucets, paint and carbon dioxide levels to achieve LEED certification.

The new library features a 15-kilowatt solar panel system on its roof and will have other energy efficient designs, such as a geothermal heating system, to make the building sustainable. The construction company, Sandpebble Builders in Southampton, also installed a shower in the bathroom of the staff break room so employees can shower if they ride their bikes to work.

The community approved a bond for the building in October 2007. The original Westhampton Free Library closed on September 6, 2008, and was demolished the following month.

The library was supposed to relocate to the temporary, 5,040-square-foot modular trailer across the street that same September, but that move was delayed for four weeks after officials found petroleum contamination at 28 Library Avenue, where the temporary trailer now sits. Construction on the new library began in November 2008.

The Westhampton Free Library services residents of Westhampton, Westhampton Beach, Quiogue, Remsenburg, Speonk, East Quogue, Eastport, East Moriches and Manorville.

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Just in time for the next hurricane...do they have flood insurance???
By nellie (451), sag harbor on May 25, 10 9:37 PM
where will the portrait of joan lavan hang?,
By curious (77), westhampton beach on May 26, 10 7:52 AM
Riverhead Jail
By nellie (451), sag harbor on May 26, 10 11:00 PM
This library is a great accomplishment by Mayor Teller and the people of Westhampton Beach. Thank you.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 26, 10 10:30 AM
This is not an accomplishment. It is a waste of taxpayer money and if Federal or State money was used it effects all of us.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on May 26, 10 8:55 PM
Maybe you should look into the library when fall and winter hits.As always it will be hardly used.This money was not well spent. it was no more than a wim of Joan and Teller and I am sure more of "there friends " benefited from it.
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 27, 10 12:26 PM
What did Teller have to do with this thing?
By Frank Wheeler (1823), Northampton on May 28, 10 12:10 PM
Try not to use the words "Joan" and "Teller" in the same thought, please.
This library that you're complaining about was a Joan-n-Hank production, give credit where it's due and don't drag Mayor Teller into it!
By barnbabe (64), westhampton beach on May 29, 10 8:35 PM
This library is a monstrosity. Nothing adds to the charm of the village like a building that is too big for its property. What an unnecessary waste of money.
By Woody (15), Westhampton Beach on May 26, 10 11:41 AM
3 members liked this comment
Can't wait to see Levan and her dysfunctional cohorts doing the perp walk in on the new WHB school turf. How you can build a Library in a flood plain is beyond me. Federal funds used here???? A crime against all taxpayers.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on May 26, 10 8:52 PM
Wow. What a bunch of haters. It may be true that the building is large. It may also be true that $7.8M is nothing to sneeze at. No one mentioned yet that LEED certification is not necessarily acting "green" Still, adding solar to any degree is "good". My notion is that libraries are a universal benefit to the community they serve. It seems the more check cashing, tattoo parlors, and OTB's there are, the less likely you'll find a library. As for the "look" of the village it is mishmash of ...more
By Hambone (513), New York on May 27, 10 8:51 AM
2 members liked this comment
Is Joan Levan "throwing her voice"? This photo looks like she is reading off the paper Michael Lennon holds and giving the illusion that the words are coming out of his mouth. Has she got so good at pushing her opinion down peoples throat that she can actualy make it come out of thier mouths?
By Ebby (75), Sag Harbor on May 27, 10 6:14 PM
Looks like someone has stolen some of the new plants that were just put in at the new library.We will never find out who since we have a DO NOTHING police department
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 28, 10 8:16 AM
`sjd,when will you stop turning every event into an excuse for you to rant about the pd?we get the point,you hate the pd,ok,but do you need to blog your disdain on every post over and over???????this is about the library,try to stay on topic.....
By curious (77), westhampton beach on May 28, 10 8:32 AM
As I stated before we did not need a 7.4 million dollar library which will be all most empty come the fall.Already things are being stolen from it and you seem that you do not care just like the police department that is never around or does anything.Just look at local police report maybe you will get the point
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 28, 10 11:13 AM
People, it's a library! How bad can a library be? The universal experience, I think, is that libraries are a net benefit to the communities they serve. And this library was approved by the voters, and came in on time and under budget. What more do you want?

Yes, Nellie, the library is in a flood plain. Most of Westhampton Beach is in a flood plain, so if the library's going to serve the village, that's where it has to be. Would you move the whole village? Who's going to pay for that? ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on May 31, 10 8:30 PM
Was any Federal or NYS funds used by Westhampton Beach to build this library in the flood plain? It was not necessary to build it in the area that suffered the worst flooding in the 1938 hurricane...and I hope the taxpayers of this state did not fund this stupidity. Furthermore, is the library district going to saddle the taxpayers of the district with high flood insurance premiums because they built the building in the flood plain? The irony is that this new building opening in June could be destroyed ...more
By nellie (451), sag harbor on May 31, 10 9:54 PM

You must work for FEMA with all of your flood plain knowledge. Prey tell, what flood zone is it in? VE? AE 9? AE 10? I guess it doesn't matter as long as it's "in a flood plain". I know much of Sag Harbor and the surrounding area sits up on the moraine on the top of the Island, but fyi the entire South Shore (with the exclusion of Montauk) is in a flood plain. If a hurricane comes through, it doesn't matter where the Westhampton Free Library is - it's going to sustain serious ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 1, 10 3:51 PM
Well the airport would have made more sense since the taxpayers who pay for it do not only live in WHB. Right? Look at the maps yourself and decide if you would build a house, a police station, a school, a fire station or any other public building there and then force your taxpayers to pay the flood insurance premiums (if they have any)? And yes, it should have been built on stilts in its' current location. But it is too late now. As I said before, pray for good weather and enjoy your new library.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jun 1, 10 7:23 PM
It's a FEMA compliant structure and didn't need stilts. And your argument for the airport doesn't make sense - the library is open to residents of many neighboring communities that lack their own libraries - it has to be located somewhere.

Yes, I would build a house/school/police station in those areas because you have to look at more than a flood map. You ignored my comment regarding the threat of forest fire, which is more pressing than flooding in my opinion.

I guess the ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 1, 10 8:04 PM
** asinine argument
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 1, 10 8:04 PM
Just for clarity, please detail under what provisions (sections of rules and regulations) of FEMA that the building is compliant? Was it built with a FEMA grant? Who at FEMA approved the structure?
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jun 1, 10 10:20 PM
It doens't need to be approved by a person @ FEMA. It needs to be a FEMA compliant structure, which the Village Building Dept. is required to certify. I don't know which flood zone it is in, but based on elevation and the surrounding structures, it is likely @ AE 9 which would mean the base floor elevation must be at 9' above sea level + 2 feet so, 11 feet. The structure is still allowed to have a full basement/crawlspace, as long as the base floor meets the elevation requirement. Additionally, ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 1, 10 11:10 PM
I understand the flood plain arguement, there are some good points in there. As far as it being too big or empty in the winter, they sound like garbage points to me. The benefits of a good library to its surrounding community shouldn't be underestimated.
By cochise316 (58), southampton on Jun 1, 10 5:05 PM
You are correct...but I am sick and tired of watching bonehead decisions being made with NYS taxpayer money. If this was in WHB or Islip, I would have similar concerns.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jun 1, 10 7:26 PM
... there is nothing worse than reading a wet book.
By William Rodney (558), southampton on Jun 3, 10 9:39 AM