Schenectady County Legislators and Library Board of Trustees Break Ground on New Mont Pleasant Branch Library
Schenectady County officials were joined today by members of the Schenectady County Public Library Board of Trustees and members of the community for a ground breaking ceremony starting the construction of the new Mont Pleasant Library Branch on Crane Street in Schenectady.
“This really is a great day for the residents of Schenectady County, especially our families who will soon have a new library branch with exciting programs for all ages,” said Tony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.
The new library is being built next door to the current library branch on the site of the former Chubby’s Pizza and an adjacent derelict parcel. The County took control of the site from the City IDA and demolished this notorious building that had more than 500 police calls in 2016. The current branch lacks adequate space, parking, handicap access and other amenities needed to host a modern branch library and literacy center.
The new facility is designed to be used by families and children and will provide services in early childhood, family and adult literacy, financial literacy, digital literacy, and other youth and adult programming. The focus on literacy is part of a community-wide effort involving the County, City, City School District, private foundations and others to equip every member of the community with solid reading and writing skills.
“We are extremely excited to bring this new Branch Library to the Mont Pleasant neighborhood,” said Rich Patierne, Chair of the County Legislature’s Committee on Libraries and Education. “Schenectady County is extremely proud of our library system and knows the dramatic impact it can have on the educational success of our children and the economic health of our community. This new and larger branch will allow us to better engage children and their families with new and exciting educational programing.”
“The new Mont Pleasant branch library, with its expanded program space, will allow our talented and creative Library staff members to increase educational offerings in a safe and pleasant environment,” said Carmel Patrick, President of the Library Board of Trustees. “We appreciate the individuals and foundations who are donating towards the branch’s construction, and who, along with the County Legislature, recognize the tremendous impact the new branch will have on inspiring children and their families to be excited and enthusiastic about reading, and value life-long learning.”
Once completed, the current branch will be demolished for expanded library parking. Legislators also believe the new library branch will serve as a catalyst for additional development on Crane Street.
“We are excited to take this next step in moving our new Mont Pleasant Library Branch forward,” said Legislator Gary Hughes, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Economic Development and Planning. “We have seen the positive impact that investments in a new building like this can have on the neighborhood, becoming a catalyst for continuing additional development. This project is replacing blighted buildings with a new positive direction for the Crane Street business corridor.”
The total cost of the new branch is estimated at $2.6 million, with the Schenectady County Legislature committing $1.6 million and the remainder being contributed by community supporters including the Library Board of Trustees, Friends of the Library, Wright Family Foundation, The Little Foundation, Neil and Jane Golub, The Schenectady Foundation, former Library Board President Esther Swanker, Carlilian Foundation, and NYS Library Construction Fund. The County and Library staff are also submitting additional grant fund requests that if approved would offset costs to the County.