September 26, 2011
Cliffside Park library marks reopening following fire
September 25, 2011
BY KAREN SUDOL
CLIFFSIDE PARK – The public library officials reopened Sunday, almost two years after a fire ripped through the building destroying a large part of its collection.
Even though the library on Palisade Avenue has been open for several weeks, officials planned a grand opening to celebrate the state-of-the-art facility that features a 1,100-square foot expansion.
A Nov. 30, 2009 fire damaged several rooms, floors, computers and thousands of books that must be restored. A room that holds the borough’s historical data was unscathed but some historical treasures, DVDs and music including a large classical collection were damaged.
The 1965 building was gutted and an addition constructed that will become the adult reading area.
A media room with seven laptops, a projector, drop-down screen and surround-sound has been created courtesy of donations from Grantwood Congressional Church, she said. A designated area has also been established for teenagers.
“It looks nothing like it did before,” said Valentino Steinfeld, adding that the $1 million project was funded through insurance money.
While the building closed, the library temporarily relocated to a storefront on Palisade Avenue.
“It was worth the wait,” said Valentino Steinfeld, who became director in July, 2010. “It was a lot of hard work and I know for some patrons it was a bit of an inconvenience” as well as for the staff who worked in cramped quarters.
More than 100 people attended the grand opening Sunday afternoon where local officials spoke and patrons checked out the building. A harpist, face painter and magician were also on hand.
In an earlier interview, Mayor Gerald Calabrese said the library has come a long way from its origins in the basement of School #3.
“It’s a big improvement from what we had from the fire,” he said. “It’s a great asset to the community.”
Posted by tumulty at September 26, 2011 3:24 PM
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