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Renovation Update

The Board of Trustees has extended the bid deadline so we will remain in the library building through the end of this year. All programs will be held at the library with the exception of Theatre Works: "A Christmas Carol" on Nov. 25 (at Greenport High School) and The Brady Rymer Concert on Dec. 21 (at Southold High School).

An Overview of the Renovation

Plans to restore the architectural splendor of our historic library building, while providing modern amenities are near completion. We are very excited about this project and feel that this renovation will greatly enhance your library experience.

3-D renderings of the community room and children’s department are on display near the Library entrance. Please take the opportunity to stop by and see our vision for the future of your library. Floor plans for the entire renovation are available at the front desk for you to review.

Source: Vincent Benic Architect

A little history of our library: Southold Library was first incorporated in 1797, and operated in several locations before finding a permanent home in 1928 in our current brick building, built in 1891, which formerly housed the Southold Savings Bank. The building was last renovated with an addition in 1991 – 26 years ago.

After considerable deliberation, the Trustees decided to embark on a historic renovation of the existing footprint, with no additions to the building. The budget for the planned renovation is $1.7 million dollars.

We have nearly $1M already dedicated to the renovation through generous community donations and fiscal prudency. An additional $750,000 was supported via the budget vote in May 2017. We’ll also be pursuing grants through multiple sources.

This renovation will restore the architectural splendor of the historic building while modernizing its function for the entire community for decades to come. With this renovation the resources, programs, services, and materials we are able to offer will better reflect 21st century library users.

Just some detail on the upcoming renovation: The adult area will be relocated to what is now the children’s room. Here you will find a welcoming adult reading room, reference collection, computers, study tables, coffee, and more.

The local history collection will be moved to the area now used as the circulation desk and back office area. The dividing wall will be removed and the whole area opened up for easier and more open access of the entire collection.

The children’s room will also be on the main floor and moved directly north to what is now the computer, Best Sellers, and CD music collection area. We invite you to come to the Library now to see a beautiful rendering of this area, as it will be.

The Teen area will be moved upstairs directly above the children’s area, where we currently have newspapers, magazines, the Keurig coffee machine, non-fiction and reference books. This new location will give the teens their own more spacious room.

The current Whitaker (local history) Room will be made into a public meeting room, adding better public meeting space to the fully renovated and updated Community Room on the lower level, and an added small study room on the 1st floor.

Staff will be spread throughout the building, having desks in all these areas. This improves both service and security. The entire building will be comfortable and accommodating for patrons of all ages.

Check Out the Renovation Highlights

Read the Renovation FAQs

Why is the library being renovated?

The Southold Library’s last renovation was undertaken in the late 80’s and completed in 1990, over 25 years ago. Today’s library users and functions are vastly different than they were when that project was planned and implemented.

Our goal is to restore the architectural splendor of the building while modernizing its function for current users to enjoy, thereby offering a complete modern library experience.

What changes are being planned?

The renovated library will be more open, brighter, with improved telecommunications and flow of services. Some highlights of enhancements include:

  • The historic, original building will be restored, and Adult Services and Local History will be relocated to this section of the library which was built in the 1890’s.
  • The circulation desk will be relocated and redesigned to better serve our patrons.
  • The area for teens will be relocated to the second floor and enlarged.
  • The Community Room will be entirely renovated for better acoustics, aesthetics, and an overall enhanced experience at the many programs offered.
  • A larger study room will be built.
  • The 2nd floor local history room will become a meeting room for library staff and the public.

Are there pictures of these plans?

Yes, they are shown in the section above.

Will the library be expanded?

No, the building footprint will remain the same.

Who is designing the renovation?

The Library Board hired Vincent Benic (VBA) who has many years of experience with historic buildings, as well as library construction and renovation. According to, “The aim of Vincent Benic Architect is to produce built projects of the highest quality; ones that respond directly to user needs, respect natural, physical, and social environments, use appropriate technologies in imaginative ways, and are based firmly in the realities of cost and time.”

Will the library close during the renovation?

Essential services will be moved during the renovation to Feather Hill. Most library services will be offered during this time. Neighboring libraries will graciously offer library service to Southold/Peconic residents as well.

When will work begin and how long will it take?

In the spring of 2017 the schematic drawings were complete, and construction documents are expected to be finished by September 2017. The project will go out for bids in the Fall 2017. Moving into the temporary space in Feather Hill, and renovation work is expected to begin in November 2017.

What is the cost?

The total cost of the project is $1.75 million.

How will the project be funded?

During a fundraising campaign undertaken in 2009-2010, $1million has been carefully invested and will be spent on this project. The community supported a five year loan in the amount of $750,000 in May 2017. Grants from NYS and other sources are being sought.