Greenburgh Library Remains Closed For Heating Issues

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Cold weather and inadequate heat forced the Greenburgh Public Library to close early Thursday afternoon.
Cold weather and inadequate heat forced the Greenburgh Public Library to close early Thursday afternoon. Photo Credit: File/Samantha Kramer

UPDATE: 10:20 a.m. - The Greenburgh Public Library will remain closed on Friday and will most likely be closed on Saturday due to ongoing heating issues, according to Library Director Eugenie Contrata.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Greenburgh Public Library closed at 1 p.m. Thursday due to inadequate heat in the building, according to the library's website.

The Department of Public Works is working to have the system repaired. A part necessary for the heating system's repair still needs to be delivered, department workers told Assistant to the Library Director Cory Deitchman.

Library staff will decide before 10 a.m. Friday whether the library is suitable to re-open, Deitchman said.

The library had been struggling with heating issues the past three weeks, Deitchman added, and was able to manage up until Thursday when wind and 20-degree temperatures created a RealFeel of (minus)-2 degrees in Elmsford.

"For the last three weeks we've had a heating problem, particularly in the children's library," Deitchman said. "We've been managing, but now that it's really cold we can't manage anymore."

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Comments (6)

Just how much more money are we expected to pour into The Library ??
Why not close it one day during the week and than open it on Sundays ??


It’s a fact that mechanical parts fail. This would be a normal occurrence if Mr Samis was not “spot-on” with his account of what has transpired within the library and the entire project. While many of us have spoken against the plans and the proposals, this appears to be another of Feiner’s "done-deals".

If they had simply added a second structure, mirroring the original with an enclosed bridge adjoining the two, we could have had so much more space, an efficient design, money in the bank, although no awards for design, and a library with more than enough room for the present and our future use.

But no, they thought an extravagant design would be better. We do not have more books to read – the purpose of a library. Instead, we are told that there is no money to buy books in the budget the town board controls. There are fewer open days (closed Sundays) for children who have the time on weekends, adults who also have time on the weekends and some who just may enjoy going to the library. Yet many other area libraries are open on Sunday. Why?

Lets not forget how the town wanted to make money off of Elmsford residents by increasing the annual fee for them to use the library? In an effort to "get more", the town proposed a rate hike for Elmsford residents to use the library. After all, they did only sell the property to Greenburgh for $1. Why give them a break? The Elmsford Mayor went to Ardsley and struck a deal with their library and board that was for less money and put his residents back into the Westchester Library System and in essence able to use the Greenburgh library for free. (Yes, I know its not free, but it was a stroke of genius).

When will it end? Feiner should be voted out. Read more at about Feiner and his antics.

I totally agree.

You've got to be kidding me!
Didn't we just spend 20+ Million dollars on the Library renovation a few years ago?! Pathetic!!

No one who knows me can't say that I didn't predict this when construction of the expanded library commenced. A woeful tale of mismanagement on the part of the then Library Board compounded by a then Town Board looking to get the better of my bon ami, Paul Feiner but a rebellious Town Board choosing the wrong vehicle to do so. And not only did two Town Board members pay the price but also the taxpayers of unincorporated Greenburgh pay for the faulty result. A result achieved by swallowing equal measures of incompetence, mismanagement, ostrich worship, and a smattering of kickbacks to add flavor to the mix. Willing to sacrifice the $20 million project, the dissenters chose the most inopportune moment to register their discontent; Feiner sought an outside Project Manager and the Board insisted that the then DPW head Al Regula was capable enough having commandeered a previous Town construction project (a town garage for sanitation trucks which was built too small to fit the trucks) so naturally he was the best man for the job. Knowledge readers with memory cards may remember the change orders including $12,000 to recur the newly poured concrete curbs because they did conform to DOT specs. Or the $48,000 change order to pay for a higher asbestos cost because the problems with the installation of the underground geothermal wells led to delays which in turn witnessed a price increase in the asbestos. Oh, regarding those delays, the biggest delay was that the Architect and construction manager kept insisting that the original geothermal plan was going to happen (drilling deep wells over the NYC below ground water aqueduct would be allowed) yet neither had actually applied for permission to do so. When that was discovered requiring a change order to an approved geothermal contract to dig a greater number of shallow wells under the parking area (the Town Board knowingly approved the original plan even knowing that it wasn't going to happen) this is in turn necessitated a new geothermal plan and hence the delay to paving the parking area and this led to the increased cost. Getting the idea yet? If not consider that one of the needs expressed was more parking; this despite the existence of ample parking in and around the former town hall. The new library now has ample parking located in the same location unused because it was too far but now the farthest parking is even farther away. Of course I could go on but parents of children be advised that the Fairview Fire District is not concerned about the exit situation in the Children's area. Were a fire to originate at the entrance blocking the outside door and the elevators or stairway, there is but one exit from the entire Children's area and that is located in the northwest corner (Tarrytown Road) and reached only by navigating bookcases, furniture and identified by one overhead sign not viewable from most angles. But there are sprinklers which may be tested in the factory but obviously have never been tested upon installation....

Because it was THE Library no one but me was willing to cast the first stone and because it was THE Library which placed it on level footing with motherhood and apple pie, taxpayers got the Library they deserve for their complaisance.

Faulty in both design and execution, this 3 year old building has suffered from HVAC problems from the onset. And the current diagnosis from the new Deputy DPW Commissioner is a path already trodden twice before -- blame it on compressors, computer controls, roof venting and the bossa nova.

Too cold in winter, too hot in summer, it's the same old song with a different meaning each time it goes wrong.

But there are other flaws which are not as easily observed by the lay public or patrons. The old building half the current size required children, tots and toddlers to go down a flight; the new improved version requires everyone to go up a longer flight of stairs or to take the elevator (one of two however the second one is located in the bowels of the circulation department off limits to the public and is only used infrequently and only when books need to be returned upstairs. Because the circulation area is located at the east end of the building, the overwhelming bulk of the upstairs return items are children's materials which have to be trucked to the far western end of the building. Also with the circulation area behind the building entrance, the loading dock on the west end is no longer used for WLS deliveries or outbound WLS returns so this places the WLS at the entrance rotary where it blocks traffic. How about a second floor men's room with a door that opens to expose the urinal now hidden by a cheesy shower curtain as mitigation.

As for today and the present, the $20 million construction budget (which both the Library and the Town Board insist has not been breeched) leaves the Library still without an installed flag, a bicycle rack but furniture realized by contributions. And then there's the cost of the newest round of repairs as the library has long past its warranty period.

And if you're still looking for a water fountain on the lower level, all you have to do is pass through two sets of closed doors and go to the far wall of the multi-purpose room and there it is. Remember to excuse yourself in there's an event underway.

And more "good news". That $175,000 spent on the unrequired and unused handicapped ramp at the bus stop; the Town dutifully clears it after every snowfall. Pass the word on to all in need bus transportation for their wheelchairs and getting off buses from incorporated Greenburgh to use the unincorporated Library just after it snows. Thank Mr. Sheehan for this costly and unsightly and unnecessary "amenity". And for the record, the ramp provides no benefit to those arriving or departing in the opposite direction.

Hal Samis