Otis and Latimer Announce Construction Grant Awards to New Rochelle and Larchmont Libraries

Albany, NY – Senator George Latimer and Assemblyman Steve Otis announced that the New Rochelle and Larchmont library systems have been awarded $11,625 and $49,969 respectively in public library construction grant funds. The funds will enable the Huguenot Children’s Library in New Rochelle to install interior task lighting and storage at the cellar level, while the Larchmont funding will go towards the renovation of a new roof.

Senator Latimer stated, “Our libraries are centerpieces of every community and it’s important that they continue to thrive and provide valuable resources to local residents. Between programs, facilities and many other services, these funds will allow our local libraries to continue providing those services at a continued or even greater level.”

Assemblyman Otis stated, “These state grants are vital to making sure that our libraries can continue to improve their facilities, utilizing state funds that protect the local property taxpayer from bearing the cost of these infrastructure needs. The grants will help to ensure that our local libraries remain safe, efficient and inviting places for the public to enjoy.”

The grant funds are from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction provided in the 2013 State Budget.

New York’s public libraries are in urgent need of renovation and upgrading. A recent survey documented public library construction and renovation project needs totaling more than $2.2 billion. More than 48% of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 30% are more than three decades old. Many of New York’s local public libraries are unable to accommodate users with disabilities, are energy inefficient, cannot provide Internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring, and do not have sufficient space to house the library’s expanding collection, address the need for adequate meeting room, or provide for public access computers.

Project activities and expenditures eligible for grants from the $14 million Public Library Construction Grant Program included financing construction of new library buildings, construction of additions to existing buildings, and the renovation and/or rehabilitation of existing space, including 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, among other things. New furniture, shelving and equipment, including computer equipment, could also be purchased for new or newly reconfigured or renovated space. Renovations designed to provide accessibility for patrons with disabilities was designated a high priority.