Library Still Waiting on Wing

From left, Dennis Fabiszak, director of the East Hampton Library, Ben Krupinski, and Jeffrey Butler appeared before the East Hampton Village Design Review Board
From left, Dennis Fabiszak, director of the East Hampton Library, Ben Krupinski, and Jeffrey Butler appeared before the East Hampton Village Design Review Board to discuss the library’s expansion plans. Bridget LeRoy

    For want of a nail, a shoe was lost. And for want of the exact lumens generated by a light in a parking lot, the plans to break ground on the East Hampton Library’s children’s wing will have to wait another day.
    The room was full to capacity at the East Hampton Village’s Design Review Board meeting on Feb. 15, mostly with supporters — including Tom Twomey, the chairman of the library’s board, and Sheila Rogers, a library trustee — hoping to see a green light at the end of an eight-year tunnel.
    The proposed 6,800-square-foot addition has been on hold for that long, until a landmark Supreme Court decision last May overturned the zoning board’s denial of a special permit, and the library was given the go-ahead to bring a site plan before the design review board for final approval.
    But Carolyn Priesche of the design review board sought “clarity,” especially regarding the lighting plan in the parking lot.
    “This plan shows essentially no light,” she said. “I think this is something that needs to be thought about some more.”
    Although plans have been approved, there have been minor changes in the last few months — even until Feb. 8 — that had not been added to the plan in front of the board that night.
    “We need the manufacturers’ cut sheets for the fixtures to be used,” Ms. Priesche told Dennis Fabiszak, the library’s director, and Jeffrey Butler, an engineer.
    “What we received is what you have,” Mr. Fabiszak said. “These are the exact same lights that are in the parking lot and on the building now.”
    “Well, we need something for the record,” Ms. Priesche said.
    “Is all this over a lightbulb?” asked Dorothy Friedman, a library supporter, from the audience. “This is going to hold it up another two weeks?”
    “Without a plan, we can’t have a determination,” Ms. Priesche answered.
    Mr. Fabiszak, who was joined at the podium by Ben Krupinski, the East Hampton builder who has offered himself gratis as the project’s construction manager, said that the plans would be in next week.
    The disgruntled crowd filed out after only 25 minutes. A hearing during the meeting elicited no comments, but the board agreed to hold it open for written comments until March 7, the date of the next design review board meeting.
    When reached on Tuesday, Mr. Fabiszak said, “We are happy that the public hearing on our site plan was closed without any opposition from the public.” 
    Mr. Twomey had a similar take. “We’re pleased that the public hearing was closed and that there was no opposition,” he said, acknowledging the over two dozen citizens who showed up at the meeting to support the library. “I’m also pleased that the subcommittee of the design review board has worked so hard with the library to come up with a fine site plan review,” he said.
    Neither Mr. Fabiszak nor Mr. Twomey anticipate any more holdups. “We look forward to our site plan being approved and to breaking ground early this spring,” Mr. Fabiszak said


One thought while they work this out: The library board really ought to consider having their exterior parking-lot lighting on a timer, so it is automatically shut off after, say, 8 at night (or whatever). As it is, the lights in the back, there, burn all night, and it's wasteful and adds unnecessary light pollution to the neighborhood. It's a tiny, tiny thing, but it would help the new wing fit into the neighborhood more smoothly.