Mr. Digregorio Turns a Page in THS Library History


Liam Tenenbaum, Staff Writer

The Lalor Library is the focal point of all Tenafly High School activities. Its environment—the array of tables bustling with students, the iconic THS TV anchor set-up surrounded by news-casting gadgets, the display of intricate stained glass windows, the tall shelves of dusty encyclopedias, the lofty reference center for the studious, the mega chess board for the less studious, and a classic grand piano—is comparable to the Grand Central Station. But a few days ago, when library regulars walked towards their usual place of rendezvous, they were met not by the familiar scholarly hub but a construction zone of torn up carpets and intricate wiring. Curious to find the root of the sudden library reformation, I set out to talk with the figure behind the busy operations of THS’ library, Mr. DiGregorio. 

Why did you decide to remodel the library?

We are in a constant state of renovation and renewal, so it’s really not, why did I decide. It’s something that’s going on constantly.

What are the main goals of the reconstruction?

Well, it’s not really a reconstruction. It’s a modification based on the needs of students and the needs of staff and the needs of the community. Number one. We did some trenching. This was all financed by a donation from a resident, from a group of residents that wished to remain anonymous. So that money went to trenching between each large table. Each table will have power, so students can plug in their devices. Students are much more dependent on these devices. Number two, trenching between the TV control room and the studio. We have three pipes that are going underneath the library now, and that will accommodate electricity. So we can set up displays that need electricity in the center of the library. And also we received a huge donation from, I believe it’s from the press studios from NBC, all these high-definition cameras that we’re going to then place in. The service may require, which [was also] donated, a camera control unit in the control room that’s attached to a camera in the studio. And it’s attached by a fiber optic cable, which goes between the control room and the studio all for free. This donated equipment is not new, but it functions beautifully. And if we had purchased this all new, we would’ve been spending millions of dollars. 

Who is performing the remodeling?

The trenching work was done by our buildings and grounds department. They are located in the school and they take care of all the schools and the expertise from the buildings and grounds department, specifically Mario Kini and William Breakfield. They know all the vendors. And if we had gone out to have someone come in to do this, that $10,000 donation, we would’ve needed five or 10 times as much. So we did it all in house and managed it in house, saving a tremendous amount of money.

How long have these plans been in development?

That’s hard to say. I think that the kernel of the idea happened about five years ago, and then the donation came along, and so all of the stars were aligned in the perfect, perfect way. So then it was time to move forward, so that’s basically how it happened. There’ll be some more surprises coming in that I don’t wish to disclose right now, but they will, I think, be very much enjoyed by the students and hopefully the students will be inspired by them.

Closing Word

Overall, these plans set out to make long-needed adjustments to the library that will benefit all members of the THS community. Mr. DiGregorio has been working hard to assure a positive outcome for the project, even doing some of the constructions with his own hands. Hopefully, with time, the Lalor Library will exceed its current technological capabilities, making a more immersive and modern experience that more accurately reflects the eagerness to learn in the Tenafly public school system.