Library painting project on hold to allow ESL class

The Westchester Square Library’s long-planned painting job inside the building will have to wait so ESL programming is not interrupted. Photo by Victor Chu

The Westchester Square Library was scheduled to get a new paint job near the start of the new year, but the inability to find a suitable replacement space for English as a Second Language programs that take place there for immigrants have likely pushed the job back to the summer.

Head branch librarian Aurea Garcia said she had looked for other places to accommodate the growing numbers of participants in the library’s ESL programs, but felt that a change of venue in the middle of the class schedules would be too disruptive to the immigrants and that they would likely lose many of the students in the move.

The painting at the NYPL’s Westchester Square branch, located at 2521 Glebe Avenue, was scheduled for an interior painting beginning on Tuesday, December 30, but now the NYPL will wait until the ESL class schedule ends to begin the painting project. The painting job would take several weeks to complete, necessitating closure of the branch.

“There is nothing to fear,” said NYPL spokesman Jon Minners. “We had a plan to paint the branch but since we were not able to find another place for the classes the NYPL will find a time to work on the project that will not affect the programming.”

Garcia was really concerned that the badly needed painting project inside the library would jeopardize what is the only time that many of the immigrants who are also parents can take ESL classes, while there children are at school.

“As much as I would like to see the place painted, I am concerned about losing students who come into register and discover that we are closed,” Garcia said. “Is this the right time to get a the library a facelift and end some classes, or would it be better to wait until the classes are over?”

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