The North Bellmore Public Library Board of Trustees has selected Elite Construction of NY as construction manager for the upcoming expansion and renovation of the library building located at 1551 Newbridge Road in North Bellmore, NY. Elite will be responsible for managing the entire construction program, including coordination of design and engineering planning, selection and oversight of contractors and subcontractors, and supervision of the work schedule, budget, and quality. Elite’s President and COO Eze O. Small, CFM and CEO Michael Reed, CCM will lead the firm’s project team.
Designed by the Pleasantville, NY-based architectural firm of Gallin Beeler Design Studio (GBds), the project will completely renovate and expand the outdated library structure, originally constructed in 1962 and expanded in 1986.
According to the library Director Tom Bazzicalupo, “The North Bellmore library serves a community of over 20,000 residents. The current building does not fulfill the community needs and lacks crucial facilities such as a children’s activity room, a young adult room, and sufficient meeting rooms. We look forward to the upgrades, which will serve our community for decades to come.”
“The $8.9 million expansion and renovation will provide the North Bellmore residents with sufficient space for public meetings and youth programs, update the library’s technological infrastructure, and improve the building’s energy efficiency,” explained Elite’s Michael Reed. “The renovated structure will feature numerous sustainable and energy efficient systems and materials, such as photovoltaic solar panels, energy-saving lighting fixtures, high performance window glazing, window sunscreens, high-efficiency HVAC units, and high recycled content materials” he added.
“The improvements will include a gut renovation of the existing two-story, 13,000-sq.-ft. building and a 4,200-sq.-ft. addition, which will increase the library’s usable space by 21 percent. The addition will wrap around three sides of the existing structure,” said GBds Principal Raymond L. Beeler, AIA, LEED AP.
The project is financed through a 15-year, $8.9 million bond issue approved by the North Bellmore voters in May of 2015. In order to repay the bond, the local property owners will on average pay an additional $71.10 per year, or $5.93 per month, on their property tax bills. Public library consultant Judith Lockman assisted the Board of Trustees and the library leadership in developing a strategy for the expansion and bond issue financing. The existing building is situated on land owned by the North Bellmore School District and administered through the New York State Education Department.
In addition to Elite and GBds, the project team includes structural engineer The Di Salvo Engineering Group; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineer TAS Engineering; and civil engineer Galli Engineering.
Architecture and interior program
The design for the expanded and renovated library will address shortcomings of the current building and its internal layout. These include: the lack of a children’s activity and programs area; long wait times for an overbooked community room, which is currently shared with children’s and youth programs; no young adult section; and insufficient new media/DVD and periodicals sections.
Gallin Beeler Design Studio was initially retained to design a limited renovation plan to address some of the library’s deficiencies. The firm developed a needs assessment report based on their review of the physical plant’s condition, interviews with staff, and an analysis of usage by patrons and community members. This report made it clear that the current building had outlived its usefulness to the community in its current form. Based on these findings, the Board of Trustees decided to undertake an expansion and complete renovation of the facility, and fund the work through a bond issue.
The architectural team developed the design in a close collaboration with the library personnel and the community. “Over a period of five months, our team held numerous public input meetings that both increased the design’s responsiveness to the end users’ needs and built considerable community support for the project,” explained Beeler. “This support was reflected in the referendum’s results, with two thirds of voters approving the bond.”
In addition to many functional improvements, the new design addresses two major architectural shortcomings of the existing building: the disharmonized architecture caused by stylistic differences between the original building and the earlier expansion, and the lack of a convenient and accessible main entrance. The elegant, understated addition, which wraps around three sides of the building, will give it a unified, contemporary look. The expansive glass curtain wall of the addition will also open up the current “closed in,” unwelcoming architecture and present the inner workings of the library the community.
The current main entry is not well visible and accessible only via a circuitous route from the parking lot, which is shared with a nearby public school. The new design will reorganize the parking layout and add a drop off loop directly in front of the redesigned main entry. This solution will improve access to the library and emphasize the main entrance.
The expanded two-story building will feature new entrances on three sides. The fourth side faces Newbridge Road, opposite a fire station, so the design team opted for limiting any traffic that could interfere with firefighting operations. A dedicated entrance to the community room will be located on the east side of the building, next to a new memorial plaza, allowing for easier organization of events during afterhours. A new brick pathway will connect the building to the 9/11 Memorial and the Veterans’ Monument.
The new interior program includes an expanded children’s department; a teen room; separate quiet and group study rooms; a centralized location for new media and periodicals; reconfigured shelving to provide greater room for books and DVDs; additional seating areas around a new fireplace; and an increased number of public computer desks and device charging stations throughout the library. The library will be fully ADA compliant and handicapped accessible.
The children’s department will see a 90 percent increase in space. It will house a main children’s reference and help desk, overlooking the entire children’s library, and a new glass-enclosed, 600-sq.-ft. multifunction room for programs and events, with a dedicated storytelling area. The children’s section will receive new furnishing and finishes, including low stacks for easy access; a dedicated bathroom; a seating area with a large glazed exterior wall overlooking a lawn; and a special-needs area with seating, reference materials, and activities.
The expanded library will also house a new 325-sq.-ft. meeting room, which will accommodate groups of up to 30 people. It will be located near the main community room and is intended to serve local organizations. The current community room will be expanded and receive a new stage. It will be accessible directly through a covered entryway, which will make it easier to serve events held after the library hours.
Elite Construction of NY
Elite Construction of NY is a certified veteran- and minority-owned construction firm based in Garden City, NY. Elite is a member of the Construction Management Association of America and serves clients throughout the Northeast. The firm’s founding partners—Michael Reed, CCM, and Eze O. Small, CFM—have been working together on some of the region’s most complex building projects for the past 10 years. Combined, they offer clients 40 years of experience at some of the world’s largest building firms. Both partners hold master’s degrees in engineering and management. Michael served as a U.S. Air Force officer.
Elite serves diverse market sectors, including commercial, educational, and governmental. Whether providing preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, client advisory, owner’s representation, or value engineering services, the company delivers custom solutions tailored to the project at hand, the client, and the end user.
Gallin Beeler Design Studio
Gallin Beeler Design Studio (GBds) is an eight-person architectural, interior design, and planning firm, based in Pleasantville, NY. The firm provides a complete range of architectural services, from feasibility studies, program analysis and site selection to construction administration and post-occupancy analysis.
GBds has received more than 20 AIA Awards for Design Excellence in the Hudson Valley region as well as six awards at the state and national level. The firm’s exceptional range of experience includes a variety of building types including commercial buildings, tenant fit-outs, corporate headquarters, hotels, auto dealerships, medical facilities, public libraries, community centers, wineries, entertainment facilities, historic preservation projects, apartment buildings, and single-family residences.
The firm’s recent projects include the 27,000-sq.-ft. addition to the Baldwin Public Library in Baldwin, NY and the 25,700-sq.-ft. expansion of the Syosset Public Library in Syosset, NY.
Rendering Courtesy of Gallin Beeler Design Studio