Majority Leader Van Bramer & LaGCC Break Ground & Initiate Expansion of Institution’s Library

On December 5th, New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer was joined by Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management Judith Bergtraum, as well as students and faculty to commence the renovation and expansion of the college’s library in Long Island City. Council Member Van Bramer secured $2 million in funding to renovate, expand and modernize the institution’s library by creating an open plan to allow better access for faculty and over 850,000 students who use the facility each year.

“Once the $2 million renovation and expansion of the library is complete this sanctuary of learning will help over 20,000 students live out their dreams,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “LaGuardia Community College has a successful track record improving the lives and economic opportunities for countless sons and daughters of immigrants who continue to attend this world-class institution. Together with this significant investment we will ensure more students are given a state-of-the-art facility they need to enhance their academic experience.”

“LaGuardia's library is a critically important learning space for our students. Now, because of Councilman Van Bramer's relentless advocacy and leadership, our library will have the resources to better serve our growing student population and innovative faculty,” said Dr. Mellow.

The renovation will expand the library to the E-Building’s second floor. The college’s Humanities Department was moved to the C-Building to make room for the expansion.

The first floor renovation will create a more open plan, allowing better access. When the renovations are completed students will walk through a new entrance into a bright, open space lit by natural light from the western and southern walls. The library renovation will also allow the space to become more technology-friendly, with study desks and tables wired for use with laptops and mobile devices.

Some 850,000 people visit LaGuardia’s library annually, including students, faculty and staff, as well as local high school students and residents.

“We are excited to embark on the construction project that will expand the existing library space,” said Shahir Erfan, LaGuardia’s Vice President of Administration. “The new space will leverage architectural/engineering design to promote learning and student engagement and the technology upgrades will enhance the student experience.”

“To us students, the library is our sanctuary, to study, do homework and be academically active,” said LaGuardia Student Government Political Awareness Officer Katherine Gutierrez. “More books and more space is what we need. We have waited for this renovation, and it will provide us exactly that.”

The project is expected to be completed by Fall, 2016.

In the above photo, Council Member Van Bramer is joined by Katherine Gutierrez-Rios, Governor of Political Awareness for the Student Government at LaGuardia Community College, Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College, and Judith Bergtraum, CUNY Interim Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management.