BY BROOKE SMITH
The ribbon has finally been cut at the Adult Learning Center at the Queens Library in Rochdale in celebration of the $5.18 million in expansions made over the past three years.
Elected officials and community leaders joined in the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 25 to officially open the center.
The Adult Learning Center has been expanded to more than double the existing space to accommodate the hundreds of adult students it serves every year. The center is one of seven in the Queens Library system that offers programs for adults who are learning to read, learning English as a second language and taking pre-GED classes.
“The Queens Library is a vital cultural, informational and educational resource for the entire community. Its Adult Learner Program has aided countless men and women by helping them develop the basic literacy and language skills they need to perform routine functions, achieve professional advancement and gain knowledge,” Councilman Ruben Wills said. “I am honored to have contributed to the modernization and expansion of the Rochdale Adult Learning Center so it may enhance the program’s efficiency and productivity, and better serve my constituents’ needs.”
All seven of the centers are equipped with a full-time professional staff and volunteers who tutor literacy groups and facilitate English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) conversation groups. The centers offer basic adult education classes, video groups, writing groups and technology-assisted instruction.
“The expanded Adult Learning Center at Queens Library at Rochdale Village is an inspiring space in which to learn. It will encourage even more adults to take the next step toward improving their English fluency or to work toward a high school diploma. It is a wonderful gift to the community,” said Bridget Quinn-Carey, interim president and CEO of Queens Library.
The renovations expanded over 1,700 square feet to include more classroom space, more computers and listening stations, and more study and conversation group space. Additionally, the roof, heating ventilation and air conditioning, and fire alarm equipment were replaced with much of the funding provided by Wills and the City Council, Mayor Bill De Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and state Assembly member Vivian Cook. They are hoping to build new handicapped-accessible restrooms shortly.
“Learning is a lifelong process, and the expansion of the Rochdale Village Library’s Adult Learning Center will enhance literacy of adult students every year. The expansion has transformed this library into one that is befitting of a world-class library system and will serve as a strong example of how public investment can directly impact neighborhoods and uplift communities,” Katz said.