Oct. 23, 2019 By Allie Griffin
The completion date of the new Greenpoint Library has once again been pushed back due to construction delays and is now expected to open early in the new year.
The old library building at 107 Norman Ave. was demolished two years ago and the branch has been closed since July 2017, with construction beginning a few months later in October of the same year.
The new $20.8 million library’s original anticipated completion date was December 2018, but due unforeseen construction issues, it has been continuously pushed back further and further — first to summer 2019, then to fall 2019 and now to early 2020.
“We experienced delays caused in large part by the discovery of asbestos underground and the discovery of the old Carnegie library foundation,” a spokesperson for the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) said.
Before the last Greenpoint library was built, the Carnegie library, which was built in 1906, stood at 107 Norman Ave. It was demolished in the early 1970s, but its foundation was not completely removed and as a result the newest rendition of the Greenpoint library’s foundation had to be redesigned in order to work around it.
Asbestos remediation, harsh weather conditions and poorly-draining soil also lead to construction delays. According to the BPL, the soil at the site holds water longer than common well-draining soil in other locations and foundations cannot be poured on wet soil.
Despite the delays, construction remains ongoing and the Center for Architecture is hosting a sold-out tour of the building this weekend on Oct. 26.
The new library, designed by architectural firm Marble Fairbanks, will be double the size of the previous building. Partially funded by a $5 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environment Fund, it will also be an environmental education hub and a model of sustainable development, exceeding LEED Gold Green Building Certification requirements.
The building itself will feature solar panels, rainwater cisterns, rooftop rain gardens and open green space, reducing energy consumption by 80 percent and saving 50,000 gallons of water each year. The library will also offer 300 environmental programming each year.
While construction on the building is finishing up, Greenpoint residents can access books from a Bookmobile service on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Norman Avenue.
A pop-up library has been set up at the Park Church Co-Op at 129 Russell St., and story-time is being held at the YMCA.