Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Following massive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Gerritsen Beach Library reopened to the community on Monday. At a ceremony held in the newly opened branch, Brooklyn Public Library staff and leadership were joined by Gerritsen Beach community members.
“We are thrilled to welcome the entire Gerritsen Beach community back to their neighborhood library after such a difficult year. I am pleased to report that the library is now open and better than ever, featuring a completely new collection, an ADA-compliant layout, new roof, three meeting rooms, and two self-check machines, among countless other improvements,” said Brooklyn Public Library President & CEO Linda E. Johnson.
During Hurricane Sandy, the Gerritsen Beach library was flooded and the already worn roof was further damaged by the storm, causing leaks in numerous places. The one-floor branch had to be totally renovated, and materials, equipment and HVAC systems were destroyed. Demolition of the affected interior was completed earlier this year and new electrical systems, floor tiles, shelving and millwork have been installed.
The Gerritsen Beach library is newly furnished and equipped with new computer stations for patrons of all ages. Using this as an opportunity to improve the Library, two new public self-check machines and a new book drop are now featured by the Librarian’s Information Desk. Additionally, there are three meeting rooms for programming and community use, an upgrade from the previous one large meeting room.
The cost of repairs and renovations totaled approximately $1.5 million. Earlier this year, Brooklyn Public Library received a $300,000 grant from the AIG Disaster Relief Fund and a $250,000 grant from the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to go toward post-Sandy renovations.
Hurricane Sandy affected six Brooklyn Public Library branches. Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Brighton Beach and Red Hook reopened to the public earlier this year. The Coney Island Library is the only branch still undergoing renovations, but is slated to reopen in late October.