The amount of time it took for the to get to the start of its project on the children's wing addition did not go unnoticed at Saturday's on Saturday.
Tom Twomey, the chairman of the library board of managers, said it had been nine years and four days since the application was first filed with the Village of East Hampton. Recalling a question he had asked his librarian when he was a child, Twomey calculated the hours and even the miles through space that had been traveled since.
"Don't you agree it was well worth it?," he asked the crowd that had gathered for the celebration where the new $4 million, 6,800-square-foot wing will soon be built.
The library has been located on the Main Street property since 1911 — nine years before the incorporated village was even established. On June 25, the board will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the library building.
With shovels at the ready, Bruce Collins, the president of the library board, thanked four people he said were key in getting the project through the sometimes arduous approval process; Twomey, attorneys William Esseks and Anthony Pasca, and executive director Dennis Fabiszak.
In May 2011, the the library, reversing a decision made by the village zoning board.
The library received its building permit on late Friday, and a blown-up version of it was on view for the crowd to see. F came last month from the East Hampton Village Design Review Board and the Suffolk County Health Department, the last stamps of approval needed to go forward with the project.
Chief Deputy Suffolk County Executive Regina Calcaterra was instrumental in getting the health department approval in just 10 days, Fabiszak said. "The health department in this county sometimes works with glacial speed," he said.
Calcaterra was on hand for the ceremony. She said the project is a good example of what the county needs to get out of its ; economic development initiatives. "This little plot of land is not only going to help East Hampton, but it is going to help the entire county," she said.
Calcaterra presented the library board with a proclamation of thanks from County Executive Steve Bellone.
East Hampton Village Trustee Rick Lawler read a letter from Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr., who he said was unable to attend due to a prior obligation. "My thoughts today are not about the past, but about the future," Rickenbach said, adding that the wing will enhance the services the library is able to provide to the community.