Three local libraries are getting much needed funds to help with construction projects, thanks to Assembylwoman Marianne Buttenschon.

Buttenschon's office announced Thursday that the Utica, Frankfort and Whitesboro Public Libraries will receive construction grants for much needed updates to their facilities. The money comes from $34 million in capitol funding from the 2019 State Budget.

Buttenschon said in a statement,

These construction grants will help them make much needed and wanted renovations and upgrades to accommodate new technologies and people of all ages. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic libraries have had to adapt to an ever-changing environment in order to keep providing services. Especially now, it would not have been feasible for these valuable institutions to complete these projects without State aid.

State aid will continue to be a mystery and likely hard to come by given the state of this global Pandemic. Officials say prior to the COVID-19 outbreak several public libraries were beginning to see an increase in attendance. These construction projects were desperately needed to be able to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors to area libraries. The heights seem insurmountable, without additional funds.

Buttenschon's staff says, "A recent survey, 'Estimated New York State Public Library Construction Needs 2021-2025,' documented the need for public library construction and renovation projects to be more than $1.5 billion." These grants are only the beginning, but will have a big impact locally. The funds will be distributed in the following fashion.

  • Dunham Public: $100,433.00 for building renovations and safety improvements.
  • Frankfort Free Library: $70,110.00 for renovations and for enhancements to ensure energy efficiency and more usable, public space.
  • Utica Public Library: $23,802.00 for the 1st phase of Library Chimney Rehabilitation and Skylight Leaking Assessment Procedures on the roof of the Library.

The projects are designed to help update existing buildings, build new buildings or make improvements to existing structural systems, such as HVAC.