BLUE POINT

Making strides at new library

Blue Point Civic discusses progress of Bayport-Blue Point Library

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On Thursday, March 11, the Blue Point Civic Association held their monthly meeting and discussed progress on a number of ongoing projects.

The cleanup at the McGill Pond, on Blue Point Avenue encompassing the back end of multiple properties, continues as Suffolk County Legislature presiding officer Rob Calarco’s office confirmed that the cleaning of the underbrush and other winter issues are covered under the Suffolk County Vector Control.

The Main Street Grant has not progressed as Suffolk County has not released any dates for application, but the Civic Association is working with the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce for their proposal, which would include street lights from the Greek Orthodox Church up to the abandoned gas station near Purgatory Creek.

The Five Mile Look project has been scaled back due to the bird sanctuary and will focus on the restoration of a concrete wall at the site.

The highlight of the evening was when Bayport-Blue Point Library board member Ronnie Devine gave an update on the construction and financing of the new library to be built on the site of the former St. Ursula Center.

“So far, we’re on track,” said Devine. “As the weather has gotten nicer, we have more opportunity to get people into the building. We’ll be happy to have you come in.”

While actively seeking additional grants, the new BBP Library has already received $1,000,000. A $350,000 New York State grant for an outdoor learning center was secured by former state Sen. Monica Martinez.

Devine said that the newly passed $1.9 trillion relief effort from Congress further secures that the funding from this grant will be available.

The septic system that has recently been installed in the new library was described by Devine as “state-of-the-art.” Located at the east side of the building, the cutting-edge system was made possible by a grant from Suffolk County.

The famed Gene Horton room, in the south end of the building, has begun construction. The legendary historian of Blue Point, who died two years ago, will be honored in a room befitting his experience and dedication to the town. All of Horton’s archives were donated to the library by his family.

A baker’s room and café are to be built in the new library to allow more spaces for the younger residents of BBP to enjoy the new space.

The 8-acre property is expected to host a much-expanded roster of services. Sadly, a number of trees were lost during the construction of the property, mostly due to rotting or neglected conditions. A professional arborist has supervised the construction from the beginning of the project.

One of the Civic Association’s strongest voices campaigning for the library and whose organization will have a permanent space at the new building grounds is the Johnny Mac Foundation. “As I understand, it is ahead of schedule and under budget. It looks amazing so far and is going to be a great asset for our community,” said Jennifer McNamara, president and founder of the Johnny Mac Foundation.

Councilman Neil Foley (R-5th District), who first proposed the idea of the BBP Library taking over the property of the former St. Ursula Center, said, “We couldn’t be happier with the progress that has been made on this project. It will truly benefit the community a thousandfold.”

The tentative opening day will be somewhere between Labor Day and Columbus Day.

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