By LEVI PASCHER
Fulton County Express
GLOVERSVILLE – State Sen. Hugh Farley announced on Monday that he has secured $2 million in state funding for the Gloversville Public Library .
The state grant was announced during a special ceremony honoring the retiring senator and will go toward the library’s $8.9 million capital campaign.
The $2 million was made available through the State and Municipality Facilities Program, which is administered by the Dormitory Authority, State of NY.
The grant advances the goal of the capital campaign to modernize and expand the library, which was built in 1904 and has never been significantly renovated.
The campaign, sponsored by the Gloversville Library Foundation, began raising funds three years ago to upgrade all systems, including replacing the original 110-year-old furnace and providing access to all levels by adding an elevator. The renovation includes a 6,000 square-foot Youth Center devoted to a children’s library and will include a dedicated teen area.
“This is a very exciting project that will preserve this architectural treasure, improve library services, expand the library’s role in the social life of the community, and give an economic boost and vibrancy to downtown,” Farley said. “I am thrilled to have obtained these state funds for this important renovation project.”
During the special reception, the library also announced a new plaque honoring Farley will be installed within the historic building following the renovations recognizing his dedication to the local community.
“It was our privilege to honor Senator Farley today for his lifetime of service to his constituents in Gloversville,” Gloversville Public Library Director Barbara Madonna said. “The senator has been a true champion of libraries across the state for decades. His efforts have helped thousands of public, school and academic libraries, which in turn, have been able to further enrich their communities.”
Madonna said the senator has consistently fought for funding for the Gloversville Public Library and the library has received $567,500 in special legislative grants through Farley since 2006.
She also credited Farley with helping the library reorganize and find alternative funding options after the city previously stopped contributing money to the library budget.
“I think the greatest gift that he has provided is a future for our library in this community,” she said.
Farley said he has worked to secure increased state support for libraries, including support for new forms of library services such as school library systems and hospital library programs.
He has served in the New York State Senate since 1976 and will retire in December of this year from elected office. He told the audience on Monday his retirement will be “bitter sweet” but he is looking forward to spending more time with family and friends.
The Gloversville Library Capital Campaign Committee has already raised more than $5 million for the building’s total renovation which would address infrastructure, safety and handicapped accessibility issues in the historic building. The grant announced on Monday was the largest gift the library has received since the capital campaign started in 2013.
Madonna said much of the funding received to date will be provided to the library in the form of reimbursement and other funding has been pledged to the library and will be paid over time.
She said the library wasn’t able to qualify for the previously sought federal tax credits but she still believes the library will be able to secure the needed funding to break ground later this year. Madonna said the renovation is scheduled to take about 18 months.
During renovation the Fulton Street library will be closed and an alternate location will be opened in downtown Gloversville to provide library services.
Madonna said the library is currently working on a contract with a downtown property owner and she anticipates that location will be announced in the coming weeks.
For more information about the Gloversville Public Library visit www.gloversvillelibrary.org.