EW Howell Education Division selected to build Far Rockaway Library; Designed by Snøhetta, new 17,500 s/f building to seek LEED Gold certification

November 06, 2018 - Front Section
Artist rendering, new Far Rockaway Branch of Queens Public Library, 1637 Central Avenue - Queens, NY

Queens, NY According to EW Howell Construction Group, the NYC Department of Design and Construction has awarded the firm the general contract to build the new Far Rockaway Branch of the Queens Public Library. The two-story, 17,500 s/f project will replace the existing 8,000 s/f building at 1637 Central Ave. in Far Rockaway, and double the area of library space offered to patrons. Completion is expected in Fall 2020. 

Located less than a mile from the Rockway Beach Boardwalk, the new library will be sited at an elevation exceeding the new FEMA flood zone guidelines and will seek to achieve LEED Gold certification. 

Designed by Snøhetta, the international architecture and design firm based in Olso, Norway and New York City, the new Far Rockaway Branch Library will be clad in fritted glass, colored in a light shade that will offer contrast to the surrounding retail and pedestrian areas. The library’s entryway features a tall transparent glass pyramidal opening at the corner of Mott and Central Aves. 

“The new Far Rockaway Branch Library, with its one-of-a-kind design, will be a prized part of the community,” said John Hagen, P.E., vice president of the education division at EW Howell. “The project’s construction, with all of its intricate details, is unique, though becoming somewhat of a trend as we see cities looking to transform public spaces like libraries and parks into the focal point of their communities.”

The Far Rockaway Branch Library is heavily used and plays an important role in the vibrant community. During Hurricane Sandy, the library was used to provide disaster relief, and this renovation will increase the amount of and access to necessary services provided to the neighborhood. 

Founded in 1891, EW Howell Construction Group is a leading New York based General Construction and Construction Management firm with offices in Manhattan and on Long Island. They provide construction services throughout the region to a diverse range of clients in the Retail, Education, Arts & Cultural, Healthcare and Government sectors. Dedicated to a “Build Simply” approach, the firm provides a simplified construction experience for its clients making even the most complex projects well-executed endeavors delivered on time, on budget, and with as little complication as possible. EW Howell’s meticulous pre-construction, planning and project management, combined with collaborative client relationships and strong connections with the region’s top sub-contractors ensures they continue to deliver world class projects for their clients as they have done for over 125 years. 


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