Project Update

Renovation and Expansion Project Update

November 7, 2019


It is well known in the community that the Board of Trustees of the Caledonia Library Association, Inc. has initiated the exciting and necessary renovation and expansion of our existing historic library facility. Throughout 2018 to the present, the Board, the Library Director, and the Association members have been steadily moving forward towards our goal. We would like to provide the community with an update of our efforts and the progress we have made. A project of this significance doesn’t happen overnight. It is vitally important that we, as an Association, continue to remain transparent in our decisions and actions.  From our monthly Association Board Meetings (which are open to the public and have time allotted for community comments) to our Caledonia Library Facebook page, we are making every effort to inform the community of our plans. Your support is vital to the success of the Caledonia Library Renovation and Expansion Project.

To date, the Library Association has conducted interviews with several qualified architectural firms and has chosen Labella Associates to design a library expansion suitable for the needs of the community. The architect and the Association met several times to review drafts and finalize the proposed plans. The final plans are available at the Library for review, and the Association has held an open public presentation and intends to hold more. We have completed a grant application through the New York State Library Construction Grant Program (NYSLCGP). This state funded program was significantly impacted by cuts in the 2019 New York State budget. Although much of the funding was subsequently restored, the number of libraries seeking support has resulted in a decrease in the expected grant funding. Therefore, the Association re-submitted the grant application this year for renovations only to the existing library building. We intend to move forward with necessary renovation work including a new roof, updated electrical and plumbing systems, asbestos abatement, a new furnace (recently completed), window repair and replacement, masonry repairs, and new flooring.  These repairs and upgrades were identified in a grant-funded building inspection report initiated by the Board of Trustees. Renovation to the existing Library is both a logical and essential prerequisite to the expansion, as the renovation work will bring the Library up to code without affecting its historic status.

We have been notified that we will receive approximately $60,000 next spring through the NYSLCGP, with the estimated $90,000 remaining funds needed for renovation to come from existing Library holdings and fundraising.  This grant enables us to begin many of the necessary renovation projects.

Throughout the remainder of 2019 and 2020, the Library Association will be executing a two-pronged approach to reach the financial goals needed to make the expansion project a reality. We are currently developing outreach materials that will be used to seek major funding from individuals, businesses, and foundations. We are researching local, regional, and national sources. Additionally, we will be appealing to the community to contribute towards a much-needed modern library. We are meeting with contractors and manufacturers to help us clarify the costs of the expansion, and to formalize our fundraising and grant writing goals.

Due to the complexity of the project, the time and commitment placed on our Association members, the necessary fundraising, and the volatility of the available grant sources, an actual construction timeline is, at this time, difficult to predict. As we complete the planned renovations, identify appropriate contractors, and work towards our fundraising goals, the expansion of the Caledonia Library will become a reality.

Please consider joining us and becoming part of history as we transform our Library into a modern facility serving the community in so many ways.  One way you can participate is to become an Association member. Joining is easy, and dues are only $5 a year.