Today’s news:

Let the Work Begin: Groundbreaking on New Library Later This Month

The construction of the new Kensington library will get underway later this month.

The long-awaited project will kick off with a ground-breaking on October 23, said Malika Granville, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn Public Library. Eventually, the new library -- at 4207 18th Avenue -- will replace a leased facility at 410 Ditmas Avenue.

The construction is good news for the community, according to BPL, which notes in a fact sheet that the current library, sited in a building “formerly used as a catering hall, is ill-suited for library service and does not meet the needs of the community or library staff.”

The new building -- which will be the first “green” library branch in the borough -- will be a total of 18,500 square feet, will offer separate reading areas for adults, teens and young children, as well as computers for toddlers, children, teens and adults. The library will also have facilities for self checkout, as well as ADA compliant restrooms, and art provided by “Percent for Art.”

The library has been in the pipeline since 2002, noted Florence Valentino, the co-chairperson of Community Board 14’s Education, Libraries and Cultural Affairs Committee, during the board’s September meeting. Speaking to the crowd gathered at Edward R. Murrow High School, 1600 Avenue L, Valentino recalled the “many design delays and financial setbacks” that the library plan had experienced.

“In order to ensure that there are no additional financial holdups,” Valentino added, “Borough President Marty Markowitz has contributed an additional $500,000 to the already $11.85 million allocated for the project.”

The work is projected to take two years to complete, said Granville. However, she added, “We are constantly reevaluating. Once the work starts, it may take longer.”

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