SCARSDALE, N.Y. - Local officials have taken a significant step forward in their efforts to move forward with an unprecedented, multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of the Scarsdale Public Library.
On Tuesday, through the help of Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Scarsdale received approval for a $500,000 reimbursement grant from the state Dormitory Authority to refurbish the village-owned building at Supply Field, which would serve as a temporary library location while renovations took place.
“I’m thrilled to be able to be a part of the Scarsdale community’s efforts to renovate its public library,” she said. “A larger, more modern facility will help the library’s talented staff provide more programs and service for all Scarsdale residents, making it a true community center as well as a source of information, entertainment and connectivity.”
Paulin said she was pleased to offer a helping hand to her hometown library, which has served as a vibrant hub in the community for decades.
Late last year, the Village Board of Trustees approved a $9.9 million bond offering to help offset the “public” portion of the proposed $17.9 million renovation, which will include expansions of the teen and children’s areas, a new reading space, updated wiring and technology, infrastructure improvements and a cafe area that will double as a public meeting space for the community.
The idea to renovate the library sparked in 2012, when a survey was conducted to gauge community needs and interests, and according to organizers of the renovation, one message was clear: “Scarsdale values excellence in education and lifelong learning.”
Initially, the project was slated to cost more than $20 million , but the Trustees worked diligently to shave millions of dollars in costs to make the proposal more palatable for library patrons. It is now up to the Library Capitol Campaign Committee to raise the remaining $7.5 million to fund the ambitious library overhaul.
Thus far, the Capitol Campaign Committee has raised approximately $4 million. The Village Board of Trustees’ bond offering will only be offered when the library raises its private funds. Once the funds are raised, the library will be shut down for more than a year, though with a temporary shop set up at Supply Field, following the recent grant.
“Having a temporary facility so we could continue to provide library services for residents of Scarsdale while work is done on the library was an important component in planning for the renovation,” Scarsdale Library Director Elizabeth Bermel said. “Through the tireless efforts of Assemblywoman Paulin, the village has obtained a major share of the funds needed to convert the building at Supply Field into a temporary library. When the library renovation is completed the village will have a modernized building for its use.”