North Merrick Public Library director Thomas Witt has gone on the road to win community support for funding on a $6.75 million renovation. The library district vote is in April.
Witt unveiled the plans for the 55-year-old building earlier this month during meetings at the Merrick Avenue Middle School and the North Merrick Community Association. Witt, who said the response from both meetings was positive, will also address the Camp Avenue School PTA at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19 and the Old Mill Road School Special Education PTA at 8:45 a.m. Jan. 20. The meetings will be held at those groups’ respective schools.
Additional public meetings will be held at the library March 6 and April 4. Residents can also register to vote on the proposal at the library on April 4.
The vote is set for April 11.
"We need updating, and we'd like to do that as a planned operation as opposed to responding to an emergency situation," Witt said.
The plan includes a new roof and a new meeting room big enough to fit all Merrick school district teachers for training sessions.
The library would also be equipped with insulated windows and solar panels, saving an estimated $12,000 in annual utility costs. Witt also hopes to add benches for a fresh look to the library’s exterior.
"We're looking to be more of a focal point for the community," he said.
Some renovations in the library are already under way. Last month the library began offering free Wi-Fi, and it will soon unveil upgraded bathrooms in the rear of the building. The library will also launch a new website soon, Witt said.