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Local libraries get state construction grants

Local libraries get state construction grants

Funding will help build new Mont Pleasant branch in Schenectady
Local libraries get state construction grants
An artist's rendering depicts plans for the new Mont Pleasant branch of the Schenectady County Public Library.
Photographer: Provided image

New York state announced public library construction grants Friday, with $310,950 going to Gloversville, $179,882 going to Fort Plain and $111,583 going to the Schenectady County Public Library.

Those libraries are all members of the Mohawk Valley Library System. Another MVLS library that received funds was Johnstown, which got a $7,500 grant to help it upgrade to more efficient, LED lighting.

Gloversville Public Library Director Barbara Madonna said the state grant funding will go toward a new sprinkler system, help to pay for a new roof for her library's Andrew Carnegie donated building, all new public use computers, upgraded Internet cables and an upgraded Wi-Fi system. Gloversville's library is in the midst of a more-than-$8-million renovation project and is operating out of a temporary location at 34 West Fulton St.

"It's great to get this funding," Madonna said. 

For the Fort Plain Free Library, the $179,882 grant will go toward phase three of a reconstruction and expansion program. Keith Seeber, chairman of the library's board of trustees, said the Fort Plain library, which has an annual operating budget of about $140,000, has done $700,000 worth of repairs and expansion projects since a 2013 flood severely damaged the small library.

"This is the third grant we've gotten. For this one, we're putting in a new children's room, a director's office and a small janitor's area and kitchenette thing," he said. 

Seeber said there is a planned fourth phase of the project that will include a new non-fiction room for the library. 

Karen Bradley, director of the Schenectady County Public Library, said the $111,583 will go toward electrical and plumbing work for the library's $2.3 million Mont Pleasant branch construction project.

"This is a portion of the needed funds, which we greatly appreciate," Bradley said. "When New York state makes the funds available to the Mohawk Valley Library System, it's highly competitive. There are many other libraries in the MVLS system that also apply for grants." 

State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, stated in a news release that he supports the construction funding for libraries. 

"An investment in our libraries is an investment in our communities. During the state budget process, I insisted that libraries must not be left behind,” he said, in a prepared statement. "This funding will help our libraries continue to serve local families and provide our community with an incredible resource." 

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