SCARSDALE, N.Y. - The influential Scarsdale Forum has expressed support for the public library’s proposed multi-million dollar renovation and expansion.
On Thursday, the Scarsdale Forum released a report supporting the renovation that would provide the village with a library that represents “an outstanding example of 21st century healthful built environment and energy efficient standards."
Late last year, officials with the Scarsdale Public Library unveiled grand plans for a complete renovation and expansion of the space, which would make it one of the village’s most vibrant, modern destinations.
“The issues raised by the village board and the community should be addressed in order to ensure that the library renovation project prioritizes design choices while reducing projected expenditures, among other recommendations,” Madelaine Eppenstein, the chair of the Forum’s municipal services committee said in a statement.
The idea to renovate the library sparked in 2012, when a survey was conducted to gauge community needs and interests, and according to organizers of the renovation, one message was clear: “Scarsdale values excellence in education and lifelong learning.”
Following that survey, a plan began to take shape, which was fully unveiled to the public last month. With artists’ models and renderings of the space available, officials are getting to the nitty-gritty details of the plan.
In total, the expansive project is estimated to cost more than $18 million, with additional funding needed to set up a temporary library at Supply Field while work is ongoing. The Library Campaign for Excellence Committee – the group spearheading the radical renovation plan – is seeking to raise approximately $8 million in private funds, with the balance coming from the village.
With approximately $12 million in funding required from the village, the Board has now asked staff members to evaluate the tax impact in both the short and long-term if the money needs to be borrowed, though officials have stressed that no decision is imminent.
The renovation would include a “dramatic increase of public space,” community meeting rooms, places to study in small groups, and a quiet reading area.
Additionally, a café and lobby with seating would be installed, complete with a technology suite and business center. There will be a gallery overlooking the pond, expanded children’s wing and an outdoor reading deck, making the library a place suitable for every member of the village.
In addition to making the library a more desirable destination for village residents, there will also be improvements made to the infrastructure of the building.
Aside from the new amenities, if the plan is undertaken, there will be a slate roof replacement, an elevator for multi-level access and wheelchair and family-friendly restrooms. There will also be a powerful generator installed, which will help the entire community in the event of another catastrophic storm.
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