Senator Thomas Announces State Aid for Library Construction, Improvements Across Nassau County

ALBANY, NY – New York State Senator Kevin Thomas, in partnership with the NYS Education Department and New York State Library, is pleased to announce that select public libraries are receiving state aid for library construction funds in Nassau County. The funds will go towards supporting improvements to Nassau Library System libraries, with highlights that include investments in:

Hicksville Free Public Library - $4,900 – For Removal of concrete and blue stone flags on the walkway and entryway of the Hicksville Library and replacement of new concrete flags.

Freeport Memorial Library - $237,262 – To make improvements to two adjoining basements rooms and a restore an existing interior staircase that runs from the basement to the main floor.

Rockville Centre Public Library - $4,415 - Install additional security cameras for coverage of facility and upgrade system software; upgrade emergency and exit lights to LED fixtures.

West Hempstead Public Library - $40,731 - To demolish an existing wall and construct a new wall to expand our Children's Room play area in order to accommodate our growing youth community.

These funds were included in the $14 million in capital funds provided in the FY2020-2021 State Budget for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects.

Senator Kevin Thomas said, “Our public libraries are an essential part of our communities, and I am happy to announce these new awarded grants. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts these projects will have on the overall library experience, new capabilities and greater accessibility.”

New York’s public libraries are in urgent need of renovation and upgrading. A recent survey showed a documented need for public library construction and renovation projects totaling more than $1.5 billion. Over half of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another one third 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are energy inefficient, cannot provide Internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring. Many 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.

Project activities and expenditures eligible for funding from the State Aid for Library Construction Program include financing construction of new library buildings, construction of additions to existing buildings, and the renovation and/or rehabilitation of existing space. Projects may include roof replacement, purchase and installation of alternative energy resources, new HVAC systems, windows, doors, lighting systems, electrical upgrades, and construction of new or replacement of old walkways and parking lots. Broadband infrastructure projects are also eligible. New furniture, shelving and equipment, including computer equipment, may be purchased for new or newly reconfigured or renovated space. Renovations designed to provide accessibility for patrons with disabilities are a high priority.