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Jan 12, 2010 6:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Library reopens

Jan 12, 2010 6:05 PM

The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, which recently underwent a $6 million expansion and renovation, opened its doors to the public on Saturday without much fanfare.

While library officials are still working through a “punch list” of finishing touches, and are awaiting the delivery of some pieces of furniture, the facility is more than ready to welcome visitors and begin servicing the community’s library needs, Director Susan LaVista said Friday. The library opened at 9:30 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m., resuming its usual hours of operation.

A formal grand opening, complete with ceremony and celebration, will be held late in February at the earliest, according to the director.

“We have some furniture items on back order and some things ... like gouges to be repaired and spackling­­—just normal post-construction things, but nothing to prevent us from reopening,” Ms. LaVista said.

Originally slated to open in mid-October, the expansion took a little longer than expected, but still was completed within the 18-month timeline established at the outset.

The project, which was begun in September 2008, expanded the library on Montauk Highway by 4,300 square feet, bringing the total size of the building to 11,000 square feet. Once the work commenced, the library’s operations were moved to the former Marders’ building, across Montauk Highway and a short distance to the east. That location was closed on November 30 and, in the interim, library users were directed to the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor and the Rogers Memorial Library on Coopers Neck Lane in Southampton.

The most striking change at the “new” library will be the opening of the second floor to the public. Previously, only the library staff had access to the upper floor, but now the library’s older nonfiction and biography collections will be housed there and two reading balconies, which look out into the newly landscaped backyard, have been added.

Among the other major improvements made to the library building are the addition of a separate room for the young adult literature section, complete with two computers, and an expanded program room in the basement, which can accommodate as many as 120 people.

The first floor of the library will now feature new computers, the circulation desk and the new book and older fiction collections as well as the library’s Long Island and Spanish language literacy collections.

The fireplace, a treasured fixture in the old library, was preserved.

Jennifer L. Henn

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wonderful news. My husband used the old library back in the day eons ago when the Van Scoy sisters ran the library. He watched as they turned every page to make sure he hadn't made a mark on the book he was returning. I'm sure the folks in Bridgehampton will benifit by their new and improved library. It's a tribute to all that they preserved the old look while adopting all the new services.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Jan 10, 10 7:08 AM
It's so nice to hear good and positive news about our community. As a full time resident of Sag Harbor, I could not be more happy.

Thanks to all those involved for the hard work it must have taken to open the library.
By Cindy5X5 (6), Sag Harbor on Jan 18, 10 8:55 AM
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Jan 20, 10 1:18 PM