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Legislators Announce Construction Grant for New Rochelle Public Library

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and George Latimer, along with Assembly Members Steve Otis and Amy Paulin, who together represent the City of Rochelle, are pleased to announce an important state construction grant award for the New Rochelle Public Library.

The New Rochelle library has been awarded $93,487 to replace an aging HVAC chiller with a modernized modular chiller system.  The grant is part of a $14 million capital fund appropriation for public library construction in the 2015 state budget.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Public libraries are essential parts of local communities and we have a responsibility to ensure they remain open and accessible to the public. I am proud of my colleagues’ and my efforts to increase state aid for library maintenance and capital projects. As a result of this funding, the New Rochelle Public Library will receive $93,487 to upgrade its HVAC system, which will enhance the experience for visitors and employees and keep energy usage and costs down due to increased efficiency. It is a win-win for the New Rochelle community.”

Senator George Latimer said, “The New Rochelle Public Library is such an integral part of the community. Serving everyone from the youngest to the oldest, I am happy to see their commitment to improving the experience for all the library’s users.”

“The New Rochelle Public Library continues to be a vibrant part of the community and the grant money that it was awarded will only enhance its ability to serve that community in the future,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. The replacing of the HVAC modular chiller system in New Rochelle will make it more comfortable for those taking advantage of everything that this fabulous library has to offer.”

Assemblyman Steve Otis, who serves on the Assembly Libraries and Education Technology and Education Committees, is a strong advocate for public libraries and has fought to increase library construction funding in the state budget.  “These state grants are vital in making our libraries more efficient and inviting spaces for residents to enjoy,” said Otis.  “New Rochelle has been proactive in seeking these state grants in the past and this new funding will help the library to continue to address their infrastructure needs.”

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 51% of the 1,000+ public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 33% 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.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved $19 million in the 2016-17 state budget for library construction projects that will be announced in the spring of 2017.