Flatlands Library Closes For One Year While Roof is Replaced

Flatlands Library Closes For One Year While Roof is Replaced
The Flatlands Library in June 2018 (Image: Google Maps)

Starting today, the Brooklyn Public Library’s Flatlands branch will be closed for one year while the building’s roof is replaced.

A short notice published on the Brooklyn Public Library’s website says the branch, located at 2065 Flatbush Avenue and Avenue P, will close today “for a scheduled roof replacement and will reopen Winter 2022.”

The Flatlands branch has already been mostly closed for long stretches of the pandemic, though the return bookdrop was occasionally operational in recent months. Many branches across the borough remain fully closed, while 39 other locations currently offer lobby service, in which patrons have access to branch lobbies for quick transactions.

A spokesperson for Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) said the roof project would cost $2 million and will be paid for with city capital funding.

“The current roof leaks, and has long outlived its lifecycle,” the spokesperson said.

An old post on the library system’s capital projects tracker pinned the project cost at $4.1 million, with funding provided by the City Council and “former mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,” but the spokesperson said that information was no longer accurate.

The previous cost estimate, the spokesperson explained, included repair work on HVAC, fire safety, and building management systems that BPL will instead complete with existing resources. No private donations will be used to fund the project.

The renovation, which will be managed by the city’s Department of Design and Construction, had been placed on hold during the pandemic, the spokesperson said, but the city’s budget office is now allowing work to begin.

BPL also said the new roof will not be a green roof akin to the one installed on a Windsor Terrace library in 2017.

This is the second long-term closure for the Flatlands branch in recent years; in 2019, the building was closed for four months to accommodate the construction of a new conference room. The 6,000-square-foot Flatlands branch building was built in 1955, and was previously renovated in 1985 and 1987.

An email about the closure from local Council Member Farah Louis said that branch staff “will continue virtual programs, attend community board meetings, and conduct virtual outreach to schools and community organizations.” It also said materials on hold that are not picked up at the close of business today would be available for pick up at the Mill Basin branch at 2385 Ralph Avenue.

Louis’ email said BPL would not station one of its mobile bookmobile trucks at the site, and directed residents instead to the Mill Basin, Clarendon, and Paerdegat branches, which currently offer pickup and return services.