On Wednesday, June 7, Forest Avenue School unveiled its renovated school library. The renovation was a two-year project, generously funded by a $10,000 donation from the Thomas J. Falcone Memorial Fund and several parent- and student-led fundraisers. “We are so thrilled that the community came together to support our library renovation.” said Forest Avenue Principal Jeffrey Monacelli. He added, “This new space helps us to enhance the students’ love of reading and the importance of having a fully-functioning library in our school that is used for instruction and research.” A total of $30,000 was raised for this renovation.
The renovation started in the summer of 2016 with the replacement of the carpeting and painting. Local architect Frank Messineo of Solutions Architecture provided strategic consulting on how the new library could be designed. Teresa Boyd, a Forest Avenue parent and co-owner of Olive Hill Design assisted the project by picking out coordinating colors for the paint and carpet. The new paint and carpeting was funded by the Casino Night fundraiser held in March 2015 and the Harlem Wizards 2016 Fundraiser organized by the Verona Conference of SCAs.
With the generous donation from the Thomas J. Falcone Memorial Fund a new circulation desk was purchased, which greatly enhanced functionality. The memorial fund was established when Thomas Falcone passed away at the age of 35 as a result of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his brain, a condition that he had fought for 20 years. To honor his memory and ensure that his amazing courage will continue to inspire others, Tommy’s family, Verona residents for over 60 years, established the memorial fund. Tommy’s niece and nephew, Reese and Chase, are currently students at Forest Avenue School.
The Forest Avenue Library renovation project also received funding from other sources. The Forest Avenue Class of 2016 legacy gift of a new circular book case, which is the defining feature of a new reading area for the librarian and the students was purchased with the proceeds from their annual car wash. Casino Night 2017 raised funds to allow the school to add more book cases that provide improved storage for the library’s collection, a computer station, and a Lego wall which can be used during indoor recess.
The finishing touches to the renovation will be completed over the summer. The Forest Avenue Class of 2017 is funding a mural as their legacy gift to be created by Forest Avenue art teacher Lisa Varuolo from monies raised at their community car wash in May 2017. Finally with additional funds from the 2017 Casino Night, a new projector and additional art work and lighting will be purchased for the library.
“I am so pleased with the results of the hard work and effort from the parents, staff, and students,” said SCA President Lisa Loudon. “Our newly renovated Library is truly an example of what can be accomplished with the support of the entire school community.”