Nov. 11, 2016 By Domenick Rafter
Forest Hills residents will get more time to use their library before it closes for a four-week renovation.
Community Board 6 Chairman Joe Hennessey announced Wednesday night that renovations to the Forest Hills branch of the Queens Library, which were slated to begin this week, will be pushed off until Spring.
“We were told they won’t be done now until next year,” he told the board at Wednesday’s meeting in Kew Gardens.
The library at 108-19 71st Ave. is slated to have it’s roof replaced, according to Queens Library spokeswoman Lisi de Bourbon. The project, which is funded by a $650,000 allocation from Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) was due to start Thursday.
“The closure of our Forest Hills community library for the replacement of the roof has been postponed until at least March or April, depending on the weather,” she said in a statement. “The closure is expected to last four weeks.”
According to de Bourbon, the library had been scheduled to close after 5 p.m. starting Thursday for four weeks, and a mobile library was to have been open for two days a week during that time. The library was to have opened after the four-week closure, the less disruptive work associated with the roof replacement would have been completed by the Spring. However, the project had yet to receive the necessary approvals for the site safety plan, scaffolding, and the use of fuel-burning tools, so Queens Library officials were forced to push the renovations off until Spring.
The Forest Hills branch of the Queens Library is one of the borough’s busiest. According to Queens Library statistics, more than 340,000 people visited the library in the 2015-16 fiscal year, making it the fifth busiest of the borough’s 62 libraries.