The Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library opened the doors to a modern, new 7,000-square-foot Satellite Branch Library at 201 Montauk Highway in Moriches at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 15.
The public helped mark the launch of the new library by joining local officials at the event. The new satellite branch is, for the first time, providing convenient access to library patrons residing in the library district’s northern section.
The opening of the new Moriches satellite branch represents this year’s second milestone in an overall multi-project expansion of Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library services.
On Jan. 14, the district opened a new, 7,000-square-foot Mastic Beach Satellite Branch at 369 Neighborhood Road. That facility has quickly generated enthusiastic public support and patronage. Since its opening, 726 patrons have signed up with new library cards at the Mastic Beach branch. An additional 603 patrons have asked that Mastic Beach serve as their “home library.”
The two new branches in Moriches and Mastic Beach now join the district’s main branch in Shirley, which is presently undergoing code-mandated and safety renovations as well as technological modernization.
As a result, for the first time ever, a streamlined and easily accessible library experience is soon to be available to residents throughout the district.
“Our library system is achieving a level of geographic accessibility that’s unprecedented in the district’s history,” said library director Kerri Rosalia. “We are confident that the new Moriches library will be warmly embraced by area residents.”
A library district-wide expansion and modernization program was set in motion by local voters on Dec. 10, 2019, through their approval of a $22.7 million bond referendum. At the time of the referendum’s approval, the district’s sole library—situated at 407 William Floyd Parkway in Shirley—is 28 percent smaller than the recommended library size for a community with the district’s population.
Underscoring the absence of adequate space, attendance at popular programs is curtailed due to lack of capacity. Moreover, the library has been forced to conduct hundreds of classes and meetings at off-site locations every year, which has proven to be costly, staff-intensive, and logistically cumbersome.
In addition to the creation of the two new satellite branches, the referendum’s passage also sets the stage for an extensive upgrade of the outdated main library in Shirley. Once it opens, the new Mastic Beach and Moriches branches will remain in permanent operation.
Main library services have been temporarily relocated to the Town of Brookhaven’s Mastic Recreation Center at 15 Herkimer Street in Mastic.
“Library services play a major role in the life of a community, and the Town of Brookhaven is proud to make the Mastic Recreation Center available to the library district,” said Brookhaven Town supervisor Ed Romaine. “We congratulate the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library upon its completion of two new satellite branches.”
The new satellite branch library in Moriches, designed by H2M architects + engineers in Melville, was built in the same architectural style as the existing 95-year-old Little Red Schoolhouse, a neighborhood landmark standing adjacent to the new library. The Moriches site offers ample parking and incorporates an expansive outdoor area suitable for both small and large outdoor programming.
A collection of popular reading materials, such as bestsellers, children’s books, and DVDs, is housed in the Moriches building. Items requested from the main library, the Mastic Beach branch, and through interlibrary loan are available for pickup.
The library’s flexible space includes dedicated areas for children, teens, and adults. All furniture and shelving has wheels so they can be moved to rearrange space as needed. The adult area offers seating for individual quiet work, multiple computers, and three program rooms. The children and teen areas have tables and chairs for students to do homework or study. There are dedicated computers for students to use. A program room within the space is adjustable in size with moveable walls.
Moriches design elements emphasize both cost savings and energy efficiency, according to library officials. Just as in Mastic Beach, the overall Moriches site promotes sustainability by adhering to LEED standards set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Construction work at the Moriches site was undertaken through a competitive bidding process. The selected contractors were all based on Long Island. Sandpebble Builders of Southampton served as construction manager.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here