SCARSDALE, N.Y. - After years of discussion, fundraising and planning, the Scarsdale Library Board of Trustees is moving forward with a near $18 million dollar renovation and expansion
Late last year, the Village Board of Trustees approved a $9.9 million bond offering to help offset the “public” portion of the $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 village debt service associated with the $9.9 million bond insurance is expected to add approximately $137 per year in taxes for a period of 15 years to a property with an assessed value at $1,508,346.
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 a temporary location is expected to be set up at Supply Field while work is ongoing.
“The library our architects are designing will recast nearly every square foot of interior space, opening the building’s vistas onto our beautiful park-like setting,” the Capitol Campaign Committee said in a joint statement announcing the proposal. “From a welcoming new lobby to a reconfigured reading room; from a dramatic expansion of the children’s and teens’ wing to a clever reconfiguration of the auditorium to allow for multiple programs at once.
“The library will feel entirely new. The architects’’ approach came from this important realization: libraries today are no longer places of ‘shhhh,’ they are places of community and communication.”