June 8, 2017
$32 million allocated to build new library, more than twice the size of the current building
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during a town hall today, alongside Council Member Karen Koslowitz, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens Library President Dennis M. Walcott, full funding for a new building for the Queens Library at Rego Park. The current building, built in 1975, is 7,500 square feet, and is too small for the growing community. It lacks ADA accessibility and has out-of-date technology. Last year, it had a circulation of nearly 194,000, and 189,000 visitors.
This project is fully funded, with $32 million allocated to build a new two-story, 18,000 square foot building in the same location. $1.8 million was allocated by the City Council, $16.5 million from the Borough President’s office, of which $12 million was allocated by Borough President Katz in FY18, and $13.7 million was allocated from Mayoral funding. Additional details will be announced as the project moves forward.
“Libraries are at the heart of neighborhoods across the city, and I am thrilled to announce that Rego Park will have a new facility to meet its needs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As the neighborhood continues to grow, this library will be a treasured cornerstone of the community. I’d like to recognize Council Member Karen Koslowitz, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens Library President Dennis M. Walcott, whose tireless work helped make this possible.”
"These substantial investments are not only for the long-awaited expansion of the Rego Park Library, but for the children, seniors and families of Rego Park," said Borough President Katz. "These capital funds will allow for a brand new, state-of-the-art community hub of learning, literacy and culture. We are both the borough of growth and the borough of families, and I am delighted to collaborate with Mayor de Blasio and Councilmember Koslowitz to deliver this for the growing families of Rego Park."
“Words cannot express how happy and grateful I am that the Rego Park Library expansion will now become a reality,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz. “I have been working on providing the residents of Rego Park with an enhanced library structure since the 1990’s and finally it’s happening. The Rego Park Library is one of the most heavily utilized in my district. Libraries are not just for research and light reading anymore, they are community, job placement, and adult literacy centers. They are a vital and critical resource for community residents and I am overjoyed that the people of Rego Park will finally have a newly expanded library right in their own neighborhood. Thank you Mayor de Blasio for making this happen.”
“This financial commitment represents the culmination of a great deal of hard work and advocacy on behalf of the Rego Park community and the tens of thousands of customers who visit this library each year,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Katz and Council Member Koslowitz for once again delivering for our library system and enabling us to provide inspiring, inviting spaces that foster a love of learning.”