Groundbreaking at Montauk Library

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Montauk Library Director Denise DiPaolo, Library Board President Joan Lycke, Library Trustee Carter Tyler, Trustee Lynda Bostrom, Trustee Marilyn Levine and East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc

by Patria Baradi Pacis

On Friday, July 24, more than thirty masked patrons, spaciously seated apart, attended the Montauk Library’s groundbreaking ceremony for its expansion and renovation building project. Library Director Denise DiPaolo welcomed the group and thanked everyone for coming in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Invocation was given by Pastor Bill Hoffmann from Montauk Community Church followed by Library Board President Joan Lycke who fondly remembered the library’s humble beginnings 40 years ago, starting from a book mobile, to a small cottage, to the current 9,000 square feet building.  She also acknowledged East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and New York State Assemblyman, Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and thanked both for their help in the library’s past and future endeavors.

Former Director Karen Rade who served for 35 years and Founder, Board of Trustee and Past President John Keeshan who has been involved with the Library from the beginning and members of Friends of the Library who held fund raising events throughout the years, were also recognized for their hard work and dedication. After each speaker, Sound Engineer Chris Pfund sanitized the microphone and podium to comply with New York State mandates.

According to the library’s plan, the renovation and expansion will add 5,000 square feet of new area and will be created by filling in portions of the existing interior double-height space, adding a second level above the existing bay window. Additions such as a larger children’s library, new teen room, a cafe service counter, two new accessible bathrooms, solar panels, green roof filled with native plants, an ocean overlook terrace for outdoor reading and yoga exercise plus an additional 1,600 square feet to house a new Local History and Fisherman’s Center will be built, all with plenty of sustainable and energy efficient features.

This huge undertaking project is made possible from a grant provided by New York State and a $7.5 million dollar bond that was overwhelmingly approved by Montauk taxpayers in June 2019.  When Ms. DiPaolo asked if the grant is still good, Supervisor Van Scoyoc replied with a smile: “Yes! The grant is still good.”

The new building is slated to open for late fall 2020. Mr. Thiele concluded by saying: “Hopefully more people will be able to attend the ribbon-cutting and none of us will have to wear a mask nor have to buy a sandwich in order to drink champagne.”  The meeting, originally scheduled for last April, lasted an hour and was moved outside with the VIP’s posing for a photo op, wearing hard hats and digging their shovels into the ground.  Montauk is blessed to have a library that will provide the community with state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technologies that will be second to none.

For more info kindly contact Director Denise DiPaolo, 631-668-3377 x102 or