The Rego Park Library is getting a replacement.
The Department of Design and Construction last week presented plans for a new, 18,000-square-foot building at 91-41 63rd Drive. It will replace the current 7,500-square-foot, one-story library that opened in 1975.
“DDC’s design for the new Rego Park Library greatly expands the available space and takes into account environmental sustainability and user comfort to create a friendly and enriching environment for both adults and younger people,” said DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer. “Libraries are centers of learning as well as valuable community spaces and this project achieves both of those goals.”
The new $33.2 million two-story library will more than double the size of the original library. It will feature separate reading rooms for children and teens, as well as additional space for computer access, educational programs and community activities.
The Rego Park branch is among the busiest in the borough. Under regular circumstances, i.e. pre-COVID, the library serves nearly 200,000 people and lends about 190,000 items each year.
The library reopened for to go-service last August. The branch expanded service for computer use, browsing and in-person reference on May 24. Since then, Rego Park has been among the top 10 Queens Public Library (QPL) branches for check-outs, number of visitors and computer sessions.
“The outstanding design reflects the progress we have made towards providing this growing community a much larger, modern library with spaces that will uplift and inspire our customers as they access a world of free information, resources, services and opportunity,” said QPL president and CEO Dennis Walcott.
The project, which is being managed by DDC, is anticipated to begin construction in winter 2022 with an estimated completion date of summer 2025.
“I want to extend my deepest thanks to Council Member Karen Koslowitz for her decades-long advocacy and financial support for a new library, and to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and his predecessor Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz for securing the funds needed to build it.”
“The residents of Rego Park have been waiting for the construction of a new library for a very long time, but thankfully we’re here today to see this next step forward,” said Borough President Donovan Richards.