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Patchogue Library taking over Carnegie complex

The century-old Carnegie Library was moved Wednesday to make room for the construction of the $100 million New Patchogue Village. Videojournalist: Stringer News (Aug. 9, 2012)

The Patchogue Board of Trustees has approved the Patchogue-Medford Library's bid to take over the recently moved Carnegie Library.

The board approved the plan for the century-old, 5,000-square-foot building Monday night.

"We're very excited," said Dina McNeece Chrils, executive director of Patchogue-Medford Library. "We've been keeping our fingers crossed for quite a while."

The Carnegie building, funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie early last century, was moved to the courthouse site last week, to make way for the downtown development project.

Once a foundation is built, Patchogue-Medford Library officials plan to restore the building, which has been vacant since 1998. Safety systems would be installed and the building made handicapped-accessible. Patchogue-Medford wants to use the building for young adult and other programs. "The kids need a safe environment to come to. There's no safer place than the library," Chrils said.

Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri noted before the meeting that the group taking over Carnegie would have to focus on children, young adults and after-school programs.

The Patchogue Historical Society also bid on the building. But village officials worried the society would not be able to handle the financial burden.

Patchogue-Medford, with an $8 million operating budget, intends to solicit grants and donations but assured trustees they have the financial wherewithal to offset any setbacks, officials said. They estimated running the Carnegie building would cost about $70,000 a year, including the hiring of a security guard and cleaning personnel.

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