Patrons of the Chappaqua Public Library can expect to find some changes and inconveniences over the next nine months as portions of the facility will be upgraded along with the expansion of the Children’s Room.
The $1.7 million project, which will also replace the two existing lavatories with four new gender-neutral bathrooms and see an enhancement of the area that now serves as the Teen Room, is tentatively scheduled to begin sometime this week and be completed by next June, said Library Director Pamela Thornton.
As a result of the work, the Children’s Room will be moved to the theater, necessitating that some library programs to be shifted to other venues, Thornton said. However, all children’s programs will remain on-site in the theater, she said.
Thornton said some programs are being moved to available space at Town Hall across the street on South Greeley Avenue or to the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center at Chappaqua Crossing. Other venues around town may also be used based on need and availability, she said.
The improvements are being paid for through a piece of the $42.5 million referendum that was approved by Chappaqua School District voters in June 2016. The district owns the public library facility.
Thornton said she did not anticipate many inconveniences after construction is underway except for the likely need for port-o-johns or trailers containing bathrooms when the new facilities are under construction. She does not know when that portion of the project will be done.
“That hasn’t been worked out yet,” Thornton said. “They know they are the only public restrooms in the building so they have to work with me to make it happen as fast as possible.”
There may also be times when the public entrance to the building will be through the theater, Thornton added. It is not anticipated that the parking lot will be affected.
The Teen Room will be enhanced to be used as a multipurpose room, which will continue to serve the needs of the community’s teen patrons, she said. It will also be used as a meeting room and include a café with vending machines.
Another study room will also be carved out of available space within the building as part of the project, Thornton said.
The only increase in building footprint will be the expanded children’s room which is expected to use part of the grassy area on the same side of the building as the parking lot.