Library to turn the page with renovation project

GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville Public Library is planning a renovation that will provide more space for its collections, technology and programs.

Library officials recently unveiled a completed design for the full renovation of the Carnegie building, located on East Fulton Street.

“We are truly pleased with the results of the hard work of this design phase,” library Board of Trustees President Christine Pesses said in a news release. “We are particularly excited with the way the design honors the building’s magnificent architectural heritage while allowing us to completely modernize the interior, and I would like to thank all of the members of our team for their tireless efforts to bring us to this point.”

A key element of the project will be the renovation of the basement of the building to provide a new children’s library and a teen room, the release said.

Library Director Barbara Madonna said she is looking forward to the construction’s completion.

“This is such an important project, in that we are truly transforming a 19th-century library into a 21st-century resource and learning center,” Madonna said in the release. “While we will always continue to provide books and traditional library resources, the renovation will enable us to serve the public so much more effectively, with greater access to technology, the ability to offer classes in collaboration with the area’s educational systems, and many, many more spaces for patrons to come in, read and meet their friends and neighbors. It will be a totally new experience for users.”

The library has not yet determined the total cost of the project, but Madonna said she expects it to be in the millions of dollars.

The library has nearly $700,000 to put toward the project. The library already has used some of those funds for architectural work as well to address issues related to the “building envelope” that are part of the overall renovation plan, the release said.

Madonna explained some of the money was used for moisture remediation of the basement area, so things can be safely stored in that location, and for an assessment of any hazardous materials that would have to be removed during the renovation process.

The library worked with the architectural firm of Butler, Roland & Mays, of Ballston Spa, on the design.

With the completion of the architectural plan, the library has hired Financial Development Agency of Amherst, Mass., to manage a capital campaign to complete the funding for the project.

According to the release, the FDA has successfully conducted more than 10 library capital projects in New York state and Massachusetts.

The company is working with the library to develop a campaign steering committee to lead the fundraising effort, the release said.

“We must be ambitious,” Pesses said. “We must have the passion and drive and commitment necessary to bring this plan fully to life. Not only will this project make our entire community a better place, but our children and grandchildren will thank us for our foresight. I think of this project as an opportunity for all of us to contribute, in much the same way that Andrew Carnegie and his peers did so long ago.”

The Carnegie library was constructed in 1904 and will be 109 years old later this year.

People who would like to see the plans can view them at the library.

Replacements eyed

Later this year, the library will replace older windows with energy efficient ones thanks to a state grant, private donors and a gift from the Friends of the Library.

The library was awarded a $200,374 grant to replace some windows in the building with energy efficient and historically accurate replicas, the release said.

The grant will be combined with $30,000 from the Friends of the Library’s fundraising efforts, a $50,000 anonymous donation, and the remaining $15,000 will come from the capital project budget for the work.

Levi Pascher can be reached by email at [email protected]

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