ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — A group of public libraries in the North Country has received funding from the New York State Education Department.
State Education Department Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced this week that it has awarded $14 million to 135 public libraries and systems statewide. Libraries were able to apply for a construction allocation that could fund 75% of a project. This includes the North Country Library System.
“Libraries play an integral role in their communities and it’s critical to ensure the necessary resources to improve library facilities at this unprecedented time of need,” Commissioner Rosa said in a press release. “With these funds, our wonderful librarians and staff will be better equipped to help close the digital divide with the necessary infrastructure and accessibility improvements that make urgently important services available to all.”
Project eligible for awards included financing broadband infrastructure projects, construction of new library buildings, construction and additions to existing buildings and the renovation or rehabilitation of existing space. According to Commissioner Rosa, projects can include roof replacement, the purchase and installation of alternative energy sources, new HVAC systems, windows, doors and lighting systems; electrical upgrades; and construction of new or replacement of walkways and parking lots.
Priority was given to renovations designed to increase accessibility for patrons with disabilities and projects that will extend library services to people in geographically isolated and economically disadvantaged communities. A breakdown of funding by region is listed below:
- Capital Region: $894,661
- Central New York: $1,144,770
- Finger Lakes: $1,084,690
- Long Island: $1,855,304
- Mid-Hudson: $1,747,800
- Mohawk Valley: $750,563
- New York City: $4,320,748
- North Country: $50,123
- Southern Tier: $657,176
- Western New York: $1,494,165
A list of projects who applied and were awarded funding in the North Country Library System is included below:
- Fulton Public Library: $111,902.00, to expand the community room, increase storage space and improve access to the North side lower level emergency exit
- Parish Public Library: $153,302.00, to complete the interior work, create new spaces and add an accessibility life and storage gutters to its addition
- Hepburn Library of Madrid: $25,358.00, to update its fire alarm system, install CCTV setup and install a backup generator
- Hepburn Library of Waddington: $16,125.00, to install a 4-ton high velocity system it its attic with all ducts to the upstairs and two ducts to the basement
A full list of funded projects can be found on the New York State Education Department website.