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Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Kingsbridge library set to open

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The new state-of-the-art Kingsbridge branch of the New York Public Library, located at 291 W. 231 St., will open on Tuesday, June 28.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m., followed by a day of public programming, including concerts, crafts, face painting and refreshments. The NYPL’s LEGO Lions, created by artist Nathan Sawaya, will be at the library for the occasion. 

The new library was built to replace the old Kingsbridge branch across the street, which had become outdated and too small for the increasing neighborhood population, according to the NYPL. Designed by Pendergast Laurel Architects, the new library has two levels and is 12,625 square feet. There are 18 individual stations for computers, areas for teens and children and a community room. Kingsbridge will be the first New York Public Library to feature a green roof as part of its storm water retention system.

Oliver Koppell has long been a supporter of the new library, allocating $3.5 million of his discretionary council funds for the project. However, despite Mr. Koppell’s support and Community Board 8’s focus on the project, the fight for the new library has been a long one. After 9/11, the project was removed from the budget. But with help from politicians, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., construction for the project began in July 2009.

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