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Budget, Education & City Services

NYPL plan for the renovation of the Mid-Manhattan Library, located at 455 5th Avenue

WHEREAS, The NYPL is planning to renovate and redesign the building at 455 5th Avenue, where the Mid-Manhattan Library is located; and

WHEREAS, The building originally built in 1914 to house the Arnold Constable department store, has been home to the Mid-Manhattan Library since 1970; and

WHEREAS, The Mid-Manhattan Library receives about 1.7 million visitors annually, making it one of most heavily patronized libraries in the country, and circulates approximately 2 million items each year; and

WHEREAS, The re-designed library will offer the following facilities/amenities

WHEREAS, The NYPL commissioned the Dutch firm Mecanoo, with Beyer Blinder Belle, a noted preservation architects firm located in New York ; and

WHEREAS, The retrofitted building will be LEED Certified; and

WHEREAS, The Mid-Manhattan Library currently houses 400,000 items and expects to maintain the same level upon reopening; and

WHEREAS, The budget for renovation is $200 million, funded by $150 million public funding ($125 million as part of New York City Ten-Year Capital Strategy - $25 million City Council - $1 million Manhattan Borough President), while the additional $50 million has been privately raised; and

WHEREAS, The Mid-Manhattan Library will close in 2018 to reopen in 2020; and

WHEREAS, While construction is ongoing, the patrons of the Mid-Manhattan Library will be relocated to four different neighboring libraries: the Science Industries Business library, the Steven A.  Schwarzman Building, the Grand Central Library and the 53rd Street Library; and

WHEREAS, During and after construction, the number of books/items in circulation will remain the same; and

WHEREAS, Some of the rooms in the renovated library will be available for rental, to generate additional revenue for the Mid-Manhattan Library budget; and

WHEREAS, Upon reopening, NYPL intends to maintain the current hours of operation at Mid-Manhattan Library, contingent upon funding by the City and the City Council; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports the renovation and redesign for the Mid-Manhattan Library and urges the Mayor's Office and the City Council to continue to provide operating budget to cover the cost for the same hours of operation, and urges the NYPL to limit the closure of public spaces for private use to a minimum.

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