Library builds handicapped ramp for Yellow Barn

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Yellow Barn at the Riverhead Free Library.

Since 1998, the Yellow Barn has served as a location for library programs for children, outdoor concerts, and most recently as the spot for Friends of the Library book sales. But it wasn’t until about 18 months ago that the library was told the barn lacked a certificate of occupancy, since it didn’t have handicapped access.

“We had no idea this was the case,” said library director Lisa Jacobs.

Now the library has built the required wheelchair ramp for the Yellow Barn, and is fixing some uneven cobblestones in the walkway and courtyard near the building, Ms. Jacobs said.

The barn was originally a carriage house owned by the Perkins family, one of Riverhead’s most prominent families. When the Perkins’ donated their property for the Riverhead Free Library in the 1960s, their home had to be demolished to make room for the new library building.

The carriage house, which was used as a garage at the time of the donation, was saved, restored twice and later moved to its current location in 1998 to make room for a library expansion.

Local architect Jim DeLuca helped plan the barn’s latest addition, which allows the barn doors to work properly despite the uneven property around the Barn.

Ms. Jacobs said the new ramp and repairs will cost about $13,000 and were not covered by grants or a gift.

“We have put aside some money for building repairs and capital improvements so we’re able to finance the project,” she said.

The repairs will not factor into this year’s library budget, which would increase the library tax levy by $60,840 or 1.99 percent if passed, keeping it under the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap.

The full library budget can be viewed below.

A budget information meeting will be held at 7 p.m. March 13 in the Library Meeting Room.

The budget vote is set for April 3, from 10 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the library.

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