Brooklyn Public Library's Central branch may be a staple for locals, a required destination for students, and a must-see for tourists, but a closer look will reveal that the circa-1940s building is in desperate need of repairs.
"BPL's iconic Central Branch is one of the most heavily used libraries in NYC," library spokesperson Emma Woods told us. "At roughly 25 times the size of an average library branch in our system, this building has nearly $67 million in unfunded capital needs."
The wish list is extensive, and includes everything from window replacement and exterior lighting repairs to the restoration of wood finishes for the landmarked building. Some areas of the central branch, like the bathrooms, are in need of a full overhaul and plumbing upgrades. Even the HVAC and electrical systems are in need of work.
Around $18 million was allotted by the de Blasio administration for repairs to the library system, but the funds are not nearly enough to cover all the expenses each branch needs.
"Unfortunately our systemwide need is much larger and continues to grow as buildings deteriorate," Woods says.
Some of the most crucial construction and repair work has already been scheduled for this summer. The central library branch will begin repairs to their roof, removing the existing material and replacing it with membrane roofing, which is more flexible and waterproof. The work is expected to be completed by the fall and cost the library $1.4 million.
In 2015 construction goals include renovation to the grand lobby, elevator work, and fire alarm work.