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Great Neck Library renovation approved

North Hempstead’s town board Tuesday night approved a site plan to expand and renovate the Great Neck Library.

The issue will go to district voters Oct. 25 to decide whether to fund the project.

If approved, the 47,125-square-foot main branch on Bayview Avenue will grow by 8,645 square feet.

A January 2010 estimate put the cost of the project at $22.5 million, but library officials are awaiting an updated estimate before they complete the bond request, library director Jane B. Marino said.

Library supporters say the facility, built in 1969, needs upgrades and repairs.
The current building is not fully handicapped accessible and has been using a cooling tower since the air-conditioning system failed.

“It’s literally falling apart,” said Mischa Schwartz, co-chair of a group promoting modernization of the library, Committee for a 21st Century Library in Great Neck.

Others said the library had done too little outreach about the plan. Former library trustee Ralene Adler asked the town board to send it back to the library to hold community meetings.

In March, the zoning board of appeals approved the plan as well as several variances, including allowing fewer parking spots than required by code.

Also at the meeting, residents from the Strathmore area protested a zoning change request for a vacant lot located off Northern Boulevard and The Gate.

The lot is south of a commercial building that has stores including Daffy’s and Apple, plus parking.

The applicant, Gate Park Llc, wants to change the zoning from residential to parking. The board continued that hearing to Aug. 2.

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