A rendering of the Patchogue-Medford Public Library annex, which will include book...

A rendering of the Patchogue-Medford Public Library annex, which will include book stacks for adults, teenagers and children, a reading area with a fireplace, an outdoor patio and free parking for at least 40 vehicles, said Patchogue-Medford library director Danielle DeMicco Paisley. Credit: H2M Architects

Construction has begun at a Medford park on a $5 million library that has been the dream of hamlet residents for nearly 60 years.

The Patchogue-Medford Public Library annex is being built on a 1-acre section of Brookhaven Town’s 23-acre Medford Athletic Complex on the corner of Route 112 and Horseblock Road. The town donated the land for the library in 2019.

When completed in about a year, the annex will include book stacks for adults, teenagers and children, a reading area with a fireplace, an outdoor patio and free parking for at least 40 vehicles, Patchogue-Medford library director Danielle DeMicco Paisley told Newsday.

Initially there will be 5,500 square feet of space open to the public, with room for possible future expansion in the 5,500-square-foot basement, she said.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for this building, so we’re excited that it’s going to happen,” Paisley said Monday. “It’s going to be right in the park, so it’s going to be a nice setting.”

Construction began last month, and on Saturday about 70 to 80 people, including Medford residents and current and former elected officials, gathered at the site for a ceremonial groundbreaking, Paisley said.

Funding for the annex is coming from a variety of sources, including $400,000 from the state, $1.6 million from a Medford community foundation and $208,000 from a town program funded by the owners of the Caithness power plant in Yaphank, Paisley said.

About $1.7 million will come from the library’s capital fund, Paisley said, adding the nonprofit Patchogue-Medford Friends of the Library has an ongoing fund raising campaign for construction. Residents are invited to buy a brick or paver for the patio, she said.

“We’re still short some dollars, so we’re doing some fund raising to see if we can raise some more funds toward the project,” Paisley said.

Patchogue-Medford has a main library on East Main Street in downtown Patchogue and opened its Carnegie annex a short walk away in 2016.

But there hasn’t been a library in Medford until now.

Hamlet residents have been calling for their own library since the 1960s, Medford resident Don Seubert said. Currently they must drive about 10 or 15 minutes to Patchogue and then seek street parking or a space in a public lot, he said.

The Medford annex is “a longtime wish fulfilled,” Seubert told Newsday. “It really is critical because a library can be a center of the community; they offer so much.”

Besides books, the library could offer programs such as language lessons, craft classes and tax preparation, he said. 

“They’re not just for children, they’re for adults, too,” Seubert said. “I think it’s going to be a benefit for everybody here.”

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