Credits Leadership Council for Milestones of Jamaica NOW Action Plan Reached Since its Launch One Year Ago
Allocates $7mm in Capital Toward Planned Renovations and Expansion of Baisley Park Community Library
QUEENS, NY – During remarks at last night’s meeting of Community Board 12, Borough President Melinda Katz provided updates on recent investments into the community, including milestones reached under the Jamaica NOW Action Plan since its launch one year ago as well as a $7 million allocation of her discretionary capital funds toward the interior renovation project and expansion of the Baisley Park Community Library.
“These capital allocations and focused efforts are direct investments into the smart growth and future of the community, Queens and of the City of New York,” said Borough President KATZ. “The Baisley Park Community Library is a center of knowledge and literacy for thousands of families in Southeast Queens. The plans to renovate and expand the library are designed to provide a top-notch facility of learning and meet the growing needs of Queens residents, especially our children and seniors.
“The dedicated, community-based Jamaica NOW Leadership Council consists of stakeholders truly vested in the area’s success,” Borough President KATZ continued. “Thanks to the Leadership Council at its helm to ensure that the community’s interests are paramount throughout implementation, the 26 strategic action items of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan are well underway and have reached significant milestones in the Plan’s first year.”
Borough President Katz’s $7 million allocation for Baisley Park Community Library at 117-11 Sutphin Boulevard includes $3.5 million in FY 2017 to cover the entire projected cost of the planned 2,000 square-foot exterior expansion, designed to provide the additional space needed to meet the community’s demand for quality library services. The allocation this year comes on top of the $3.5 million she allocated in FY 2016 to help fund the library’s $4.98 million interior renovation project, which involves a complete interior renovation compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project will also create a new Teen Center and Cyber Center, extend outward and replace the library’s current set-back front entrance, add a skylight to the library’s interior atrium (which is currently not used for library service) and reopen the atrium to the public, and install new network cabling, furniture, shelving, signage, flooring, ceilings and lighting.
Baisley Park Community Library opened in 1970 and is located in a 7,500 square-foot multi-level masonry building that houses a collection of 57,180 items. It circulates about 62,000 items per year and is visited by about 69,000 people per year.
During the meeting, Borough President Katz also noted the one year anniversary of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan’s April 15, 2015 launch and outlined major milestones of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan in the past year, including the activation of the Bronx-Flushing-Jamaica Q44 Select Bus Service that serves 44,000 New Yorkers daily; the newly-restored paths at Rufus King Park that are part of the first phase of the Park’s major capital improvements; redesigned storefronts of local businesses along Sutphin Boulevard (with more on the way); a $138,000 “Building Community Capacity” grant toward the formation of the Jamaica Arts Alliance; the release of an RFP to activate the 168th Street Garage into a new, mixed-use development, with the City to announce the winning bid shortly; the launch of the “Jamaica Avenue Streetscape Improvements” study to determine the cost and scope of additional seating, increased plantings and improved pedestrian circulation in the area; and free public Wi-Fi on track by July in the Downtown Jamaica Corridor, the first area in Queens to host LinkNYC.
Follow Borough President Katz via @melindakatz or www.facebook.com/queensbpkatz