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Hunters Point Library Expected to Open Early 2019 After Yet Another Delay

Hunters Point Library

Dec. 19, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

Construction on the the Hunters Point Library is delayed once more, and is expected to be completed in August 2018 with a possible opening in 2019.

The update on the $40 million project was announced on Dec. 18, when the Department of Design and Construction and the Queens Public Library testified on the progress of several library projects during the City Council Subcommittee on Libraries meeting, chaired by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Long Island City).

“The DDC will substantially complete our portion of the work by August 2018 and turn it over to QPL [Queens Public Library],” said Ana Barrio, the DDC’s acting commissioner.

Dennis Walcott, the president and CEO of the Queens Public Library, then said that it could take up to six months to outfit the library after construction is completed, bringing the opening date to February 2019 at the latest.

“It is a unique design,” Walcott said at the meeting. “When we talk about outfitting a normal library it can be three to four months. With Hunters Point we are saying six months.”

Van Bramer questioned the DDC and the QPL on the series of “horrific” mistakes that have led to the project’s multiple delays, including the fiasco involving the glass used for the library’s windows.

The architect, Steven Holl, insisted that a specific type of glass be used for the building due to its lighting and heat features. The glass chosen was manufactured in Germany, glazed in Spain, and eventually exported to Connecticut before reaching Long Island City. The glass was held up in Spain, however, due to a dock workers strike.

All the glass is now at the library site, with 80 percent of it installed through the building. The library’s west side, however, has yet to have the glass windows installed.

The DDC said the glass on the western side has not been installed because of IT work being done to the building’s upper level through the uncovered opening. The IT work is expected to wrap up at the end of December, with the glass to be installed in the western side’s opening by the end of January.

But the IT work is not the source of the delay to the library’s opening, which was scheduled to open its doors in early 2018. Construction was expected to conclude in September 2017.

In fact, Barrio had informed Van Bramer during a site visit over the summer that the agency would wrap up construction in the summer of 2018. It is unclear what the change in dates stemmed from.

Van Bramer said multiple high-level officials from the DDC have given him a variety of completion dates to the project, only to have the date revised.

“The original completion date of this project was 2017,” Barrio said to Van Bramer. “I can only go by what I have informed you. What you were informed previously I cannot speak to that.”

The library, under construction since 2015, has repeatedly seen delays. It was originally scheduled to open during the first part of 2017, but was then pushed to the end of summer 2017. The strike in Spain pushed the project back another six weeks.

The groundbreaking on the Hunters Point Library was also delayed, with construction starting in 2015 as opposed to 2013. The groundbreaking came two years late due to the city’s problems with finding a contractor to work with the project’s budget, which resulted in the library getting a simpler design.

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25 Comments

Ana K

Hopefully all the various obstacles have not watered down the end result to be. Patiently looking forward to its opening.




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ss

this building is an outrage… for all of the above mentioned… Just another PINK Statue in my eyes.. you did see the pink statue that cost $500,000. you should see it..




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Anonymous

Has anyone witnessed this construction site on a typical work day? I’ve never seen more than 4 workers on site at any given time. If you aren’t looking hard enough, you’d think this was an abandoned project. There are more people employed in each of the local coffee shops than there are building this library. Strikes in Spain and complicated construction aside, it doesn’t take a genious to realize this would never be completed on time with a skeleton crew.




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DO

Construction is and should be halted under extreme weather conditions, including extraordinary heat/cold/wind conditions. Considering that union workers on the site have rights, and should enjoy safety protections one would want for a spouse or adult son or daughter, work stoppage is a norm. Non-union workers–call them what you will, or respect only their hard earned skills–they often put their lives on the line for money, and should not have to. Last year only two blocks away, a low-rise building had non-native speakers dangling from cabled harnesses over the sidewalk, holding a blowtorch in one hand, flimsy equipment all, to attach a steel balcony to the infrastructure of a new building. So many calls to 311–for many safety violations, for lack of certificates. And still the irresponsible owners put profit before lives.
That should be the bad old days, before workers united for mutual protection and wage stability, but it is also our present reality. Many deaths in building revamps every year.
Not at our library, thank you,




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Hunter's Point resident

Sure safety is important. However, only 3-4 workers can be seen on this site even on the most beautiful days. It seems it’s not in somebody’s interest to complete this asap, but to milk this cow as long as possible.




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Anonymous.

Yet another “starchitect” fiasco – overbuilt, overbudget, late and impossible to maintain. Our lovely view has already been obstructed with nothing to show for it!




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Concerned Citizen

Councilmember Van Bramer, a former very highly paid employee of the QPL, headed the City Council library committee while it was being plundered by its top executives (which monies were never recovered) and continuing through the Hunters Point library construction fiasco. Mr. Van Bramer’s committee is directly responsible for expenditure of tax payer monies on the library. He has failed in his responsibilities to the public.




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Felipe Anchorena Menocal

This project of the fired CEO of Queens Library along with some politicians largely duplicates a structure the architect did in China some years ago. Given the complexity of design, it’s not a simple glass box like the surrounding residential buildings. Being in the floodplain with only a slight elevation will ensure it being flooded frequently, especially with climate change induced weather. Expect a final price of $50M — could have had 3 libraries for that in any of those glass residential towers. Hum, a tale of two cities continues; tax dollars again wasted on lavish display when basic substance such as what a public library traditionally provides is short changed.




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Scott

A bit ridiculous. I love the design, and it will be wonderful when it opens, but come on. Even with design particularities, it should not have taken this long. The Empire State Building was built in one year.




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ss

the design is ridiculous… it has no floor space…. its all open with a grand stairway.. waist !!!




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Ana

I suppose you’d fill the entire Rose Reading Room with La-Z-Boys. Just fill it all in, up to the ceiling.




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Anonymous

It took 20 years for the Taj Mahal to be built. When you live in NYC, you learn to be happy when a municipal building doesn’t take longer or cost more than a Wonder of the World.




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Frank

So we get another year of an unfinished cinderblock on the waterfront before we get a finished cinderblock staffed by surly public employees during the few hours it will be open. Why am I not surprised?




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MRLIC

Do you expect any building built by the city to be done on time and on budget? I certainly don’t.




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R. Johnson

201,000 Kindles for the cost of this library. I’m not sure this was the wisest use of resources.




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sue

Truly unbelievable. I’ve been looking forward to this opening for years and it’s pushed back yet again. The entire Hunter’s Point landscape has transformed with landscaping and skyscrapers and ferry service etc etc and this still is not even close to being finished. I expect the hours will be very limited as well when it does open.




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DO

My suspician is that the 10 million cost overrun–did anyone notice the figure went from 30 mil to 40–is in someone’s pocket. Since Mr. Walcott showed no spine under the lash of Mayor Bloomberg, don’t expect him to press for a criminal graft investigation. The building was originally going to be sheathed in a flashy (literally) metal “skin.” That was heaved when prohibitive costs were examined.
Sooo, prohibitive costs, without the extras.
1. Who is overseeing the project, including checking invoices, hours of labor and skilled workman, surprise visits?
2. Who, ultimately profited illegally? Not from no-shows, and/or equipment thefts; the office thefts on paperwork pumping up charges–that’s a good place to start.
3, A library is more than a Kindle. Research and inquiry, entertainment and vocations are discovered in libraries, with the assistance of librarians. (I wrote and had a biography published with the aid of librarians. They–not buildings–are gold.)




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Anonymous

the entire thing is a joke.
theyve put up like 60 stories worth of building at 5 Points. 2 towers have been built on the greenpoint waterfront in the amount of time its taken to build a 5,000sf 2 story box.




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Max

He’s (finally) holding the DDC and Queens Library accountable because of community pressure. Instead of complaining anonymously in the comments, let the Councilman and the library’s president, Dennis Walcott, know what you think.




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Anonymous

He’s (finally) doing his job.
if people complain to him about something – he goes and fights on our behalf…because he has peoples ear….because hes our elected official…because its his job.
People can voice their opinion on a message board however they want.
He doesnt need people to tell him that this has been screwed up from jump street.
He should have the same feeling as everyone else.




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