You wouldn't think that the sound of excavators and banging nails would be a welcomed sound at a library. In East Hampton, where library officials have fought for eight years to get approval for a new children's wing, it is ever so sweet.
"We can't wait," said , the executive director at the , just days before the is set to take place on Saturday at 10 a.m. The community is invited to attend.
Preparation is already underway for the more than . Trees have been moved to make way for the new 6,800-square-foot addition, half of which will be underground.
While the exterior has been prepped, library staff have been busy preparing the interior. "We're shifting things around downstairs in the adult area to make space for the children's department to go," Fabiszak said. The space will be smaller, but the inconvenience is expected to last just over a year. Fabiszak said the completion date is May 31, 2013.
Library officials are still in the process of finalizing the building permits, but Fabiszak is hopeful it will come through before the weekend. He is also waiting on some bids, and then the real work will start in no more than two weeks.
The library received 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.
It was 11 months ago that the the library, reversing a decision made by the village zoning board. The library board spent over $300,000 on legal fees throughout the eight years and upwards of half a million dollars including architects, engineer, traffic consultants and other fees.
The library has raised at least $3.2 million for the estimated $4 to $4.5 million project. The official fundraising campaign has not yet begun, but the library has secured donations from donors, such as .
On Saturday, those who have fought an eight-year battle for approvals will celebrate with some short speeches and refreshments outside, as long as it doesn't rain. Politicians — from the village to the state level — have been invited to attend.
Programming is not expected to be cut during the project. "We're going to create a temporary meeting room on the main floor to replace meeting room from basement," he said. The meeting space already located on the main floor is not going to be worked on, however, at the end of the project, the library will have to give up the space. Fabiszak expects to then rent some space at .
"As long as the noise from the construction is not too much to hinder the programing we'll keep providing access to it," he said.