Under the crisp November sky, librarians, architects, engineers and politicians marked a significant milestone on Nov. 17 as they gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony heralding the commencement of construction for the eagerly anticipated new Gold Coast Public Library building in Glen Head.
The genesis of this ambitious project traces back to 2014, when the Gold Coast Public Library Board of Trustees began the quest for a new, centrally located site that would cater to the community’s burgeoning need for expanded space for events and parking. The current library, measuring only 4,400 square feet, is the smallest in Nassau County.
Chuck Lavine, New York State assemblyman for the district, was in attendance and expressed his support for the project. He emphasized the village’s need for an expanded space and the important role a library plays in its community, both as a repository of knowledge and as the beating heart of Glen Head.
“Modern libraries aren’t just places where we go to take a book out for a week or two. They are actual community centers,” Lavine said. “This new building will provide us not only a place for us to go and read books and take them out, but as a community center it is going to be a wonderful location for community activities, including concerts, events for families, activities for young people, for children and teenagers, and it is exactly what the Glen Head community needs.”
To realize this vision, the library engaged H2M architects + engineers, an engineering consultant based in Melville, entrusting them with the task of conducting a feasibility study, programming, and schematic design for the new facility. This initiative culminated in a resounding success on Dec. 8, 2020, with the passage of a $10.8 million bond vote. The library secured a 2.62-acre parcel at 180 Glen Head Road as the site for the new building, a testament to the community’s commitment to fostering a vibrant library space.
The one-story structure, spanning an expansive 11,000 square feet, will boast an open floor plan, allowing for both visual supervision and future expansion while maintaining existing staffing levels. Adorned with shingle siding and cultured stone wainscotting, the building’s exterior will pay homage to the cozy, coastal aesthetics of the current library and the historical resonance of the Glen Head community.
Vicki Walsh, a Town of Oyster Bay councilwoman, wrote in a statement how excited she was to participate in the groundbreaking. She also added that the new building will provide educational and community resources to Glen Head for decades to come, making the project a real long-term investment in the village’s future.
“I was thrilled to join with the Glen Head community at the groundbreaking of this new facility,” Walsh wrote. “This new state-of-the-art library will give the gift of reading to generations to come and is something the residents of this area can be very proud of, as they worked hand in hand with the Gold Coast Library board to plan its design.”
Inside, the library will feature an array of modern amenities, including an expanded children’s room, a dedicated teen area with a group study room, and community rooms designed to host larger and after-hour events. An outdoor reading garden, quiet study rooms, and ample windows for natural light will cater to various community needs. The new library is set to be equipped with energy-efficient HVAC, plumbing, and lighting fixtures, embodying a commitment to sustainability.
Rich Humann, CEO of H2M architects + engineers, wrote in a statement about the pride he felt in the collaborative effort. As construction progresses, the Gold Coast Public Library is poised to unveil the new building in 2025, heralding a new chapter in the cultural heart of the community.
“Libraries have evolved to become more than just a repository for books,” Humann wrote. “I’m deeply proud of every single H2M team member who contributed to this outstanding project, and I thank the Gold Coast Public Library for entrusting us with such important work.”