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June 29, 2016
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JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



State Education Department Announces $14 Million in Library Construction Grants for 173 Public Libraries Statewide

The State Education Department today awarded $14 million in grants to 173 public libraries statewide for construction projects.

“Many public libraries statewide lack updated technology or facilities to fully serve children, parents and other community members," said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. "If libraries are going to be an exciting destination for children and families, they need proper facilities. The grants we're announcing today will help fund the construction and renovation projects that will make that a reality."

“Public libraries are centers of communities,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “These construction grants will enable public libraries statewide to make much-needed renovations or upgrade technologies to better serve the community. We must continue to invest in public libraries. The Board of Regents and I thank the Governor’s Office and the State Legislature for committing these funds."

Project activities eligible for grants include financing construction of new library buildings, construction of additions to existing buildings, and the renovation or rehabilitation of existing space. The projects can include roof replacement, purchase and installation of alternative energy resources and new HVAC systems, windows, doors, and lighting systems, electrical upgrades, and construction of new or replacement of old walkways and parking lots. New furniture, shelving and equipment, including computer equipment, can be purchased for new or newly renovated space. Renovations designed to provide accessibility for patrons with disabilities is a high priority.

Grant awards range from $3,206 to $1,734,521 and were awarded to libraries across the state:

Capital Region - $1,098,981

Southern Tier - $457,625

Western New York - $1,384,637

Hudson Valley - $1,577,094

Long Island - $1,714,951

New York City - $4,292,534

Finger Lakes - $1,482,366

Central New York - $690,234

Mohawk Valley - $562,076

North Country - $739,502

A complete list of award winners is available here:

Construction funds are allocated to New York State’s 23 public library systems based on formulas in Education Law.  Member libraries within a system compete for the State funds allocated to their public library system.  Each library system’s governing Board of Trustees then prioritizes the projects and sends approved project applications with recommended project awards to the State Library.  After State Library review, applications are then sent to the Dormitory Authority of New York State (DASNY) for final review and approval.

The grant funds are from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction provided in the 2015 State Budget. In the 2016 State Budget, the Legislature provided $19 million for projects that will be announced in Spring 2017.