The Huntington High School library is going to get an upgrade. State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci and State Senator Carl Marcellino have arranged a $200,000 state grant to revitalize one of the main hubs of student activity in the building.
Huntington High School was built over parts of 1957/58 on about 35 acres of land carved out of the famed H. Bellas Hess estate, which once stretched from New York Avenue to Oakwood Road and included the entire area of the current Big H Shopping Center and nearby neighborhoods.
The high school opened in late November 1958 and since then the library has stood virtually unchanged. A large enclosed space to the inside right of the library entrance has been repurposed and stocked with computers. It is used for both full class instruction as well as class and individual student research. The rest of the facility has remained essentially unchanged over the past 60 years.
“The high school library is a place frequented by so many students during and after the school day as a place of quiet study, research, computer use and more,” Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “We are grateful for the generous grant, which will allow us to improve the facility’s functionality and make it more suitable for simultaneous multi-purpose use.”
Students begin filing into the library even before the school day has begun and they continue using it long after the final bell has sounded. School and community groups also use it for meetings.
“As a former school teacher and administrator for over 20 years, I know the important role libraries play in educating our youth,” Mr. Marcellino said. “I am pleased to be able to procure this grant with my colleague, Assemblyman Lupinacci to ensure that the Huntington School District has the tools and resources necessary to make this a vibrant and effective space.”
The grant will help the district upgrade the facility “in a manner that will allow the most efficient utilization of the space to best accommodate a range of purposes and student interest simultaneously,” according to Mr. Marcellino’s office.
The library has dozens of students using the space at any one time. Some teachers bring their entire classes to the library to engage in project research. Some students use the computers on their free periods complete assignments or to just browse the internet and catch up on the news.
“Upgrades to the Huntington High School library will serve as a critical focal point in the education of thousands of students each year,” Mr. Lupinacci said. “Not only are libraries like Huntington’s a sanctuary for education, but also a place for an individual to grow into an active and upstanding citizen.”