On Monday, July 25 at 9 am, the Bradley Beach Free Public Library will break ground on its long-awaited accessibility renovation. Donors, board members, Friends of the Library, architects, builders and neighbors will attend the event at the Library (511 Fourth Avenue, Bradley Beach).
“We have been struggling for more than 12 years to bring the Library into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act,” says Library Board Chair Jeanne Beaudette. “Once this addition is complete no one will be inconvenienced or turned away because it is difficult to get into and around our beautiful building.”
“It took an unusually determined group of women to establish the Bradley Beach Library in 1913,” says Library Director Janet Torsney. “We have been inspired and guided by their persistence, their innovation and their commitment to providing the best possible library for their community.”
Hundreds of people have contributed funds and effort to make this dream a reality. “I am very grateful for the support of the Friends, the Trustees, Library staff and the wonderful community of Bradley Beach who, through working cohesively, have made this possible after all these many years,” says President of the Friends of the Bradley Beach Public Library Joan Cicchi. “Bravo!”
Work will begin shortly on the project and is expected to take six to eight months. The architects are Mills + Schnoering of Princeton NJ. The builders are Santorini Construction of Shark River Hills, NJ.
The addition, which will be in the back of the building on the Hammond Avenue side, will include an elevator, accessible entrance, staircase and bathroom and flexible space for meetings and displays. “This renovation – the first since the Library moved to this building in 1927 – prepares us to continue to be an outstanding library for the next 90 years,” says Torsney.
The Bradley Beach Free Public Library was founded by the Women’s Improvement League in 1913. The Library moved to its present location, on land donated by James Bradley, in 1927. In 2013, the library was named to the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places as an example of a library founded by a women’s club.
The Library is a vibrant center of life in Bradley Beach with nearly 7,000 members and 40,000 visits each year – remarkable in a community with a year-round population of 4,300.