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January 2020 Update

Dear Bayport-Blue Point Library residents:

Progress continues on converting the former St. Ursuline Center into the new Bayport-Blue Point Public Library. Here’s are some recent developments:

The trees on the library’s property: From the outset, we knew that adapting the convent for use as a library would affect the property’s existing landscaping. The Library District is particularly committed to preserving as many of the site’s trees as possible. We have consulted with credentialed landscape architects and an arborist to find ways to minimize the project’s effects.

While the vast majority of trees will remain in place, some trees will require transplantation, and others, to our regret, will need to be removed. Our horticultural consultants spelled out various reasons why: While some trees are being removed to permit renovation to proceed, some trees aren’t as healthy as they appear – and wouldn’t withstand the stress of nearby construction. We also learned that the roots of some trees have been rotting as the result of rising water tables, rendering them unstable.

Finally, some trees must be moved to allow for the mandatory replacement of the former convent’s antiquated sanitary systems. The new system – which will include state of the art, innovative, nitrogen-reduction features known as Innovative and Alternative On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems – will comply with Suffolk County’s public health and water quality standards.

Our professional contractors will be following our arborists’ recommendations to preserve as many healthy trees as possible – and to deploy transplanting, pruning and other techniques to protect the public, to maintain a pleasing, natural setting, and to facilitate a cost-efficient conversion.

Soliciting outside dollars to replace the sanitary systems: As noted, a new septic system is required. To minimize dependence on Library patrons’ funds, the Library Board has aggressively pursued external financing.

Through our own advocacy – and with the support of State Senator Monica Martinez – the Library was recently recommended to receive a $300,000 State grant to help pay for the upgrade.

In addition to other funding avenues, we’re pursuing a $250,000 Suffolk County grant to help cover sanitary upgrade costs. Because of our commitment to sustainability, we’ve received letters of support from the Nature Conservancy Group, Save the Great South Bay, the Bayport Civic Association, and the Blue Point Community Coalition. Our sponsor was County Legislator and Deputy Presiding Officer Rob Calarco.

What’s the big picture? The Library is on track to bid the entire work in early 2020, with construction starting by Spring – with an optimistic move-in date of late Spring or early Summer 2021.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to the library director, Mike Firestone, at mike@bbplibrary.org or call 631-363-6133, ext. 12.

TREE INVENTORY ASSESSMENT

Respectfully yours,
The Library Board of Trustees
January 2020