May 2, By Christian Murray
The Hunters Point Library will not open until early 2018 as the project continues to besieged by construction delays.
The City agency in charge of building the elaborate structure estimates that the completion date will be pushed back six weeks due to delays in obtaining the glass that will be used for the windows. DNAinfo was first to report the story.
A spokesman for the Department of Design and Construction, the agency in charge of building the library, said the delay stems from a labor strike in Spain that has prevented the glass from being shipped. He said construction should now be completed in September, at which point the building will be handed over to the Queens Library to get it ready.
A spokeswoman for the Queens Library said it typically takes four months from the time a new library is built until it is ready for opening, resulting in an early 2018 opening.
Ian Michaels, a spokesman with the DDC, said the reason the glass is coming from Spain is because the windows require a special type that can withstand heat. He said the DDC got a Connecticut company to choose a window manufacturer, which in turn selected a German company. The German manufacturer sent the glass to Spain as part of the process.
The latest postponement comes on the heels of a process riddled with delays. For instance, the city broke ground on the project in May 2015, two years behind schedule. That delay was the result of cost issues. The city at the time was unable to find a contractor to build the elaborate design for the nearly $40 million. The design was later scaled back.
“The delays in building and opening the new $40 million Hunters Point Library are a disgrace.” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has failed to do their job, which is to spend taxpayer dollars wisely and deliver to our community the library it deserves on time.”
Van Bramer said he will continue to press the DDC on this project and plans to hold a hearing to investigate DDC construction delays pertaining to libraries and cultural facilities.