Grant for Fulton Public Library will add space, improve safety | News

FULTON — The Fulton Public Library was awarded a state grant to improve the building’s safety and make other improvements. This comes after a wave of community support for the library through several other grants this year.

A $111,902 State Aid for Library Construction grant is the most recent grant the library received. The other grants include a $28,000 Richard S. Shineman Foundation grant for new furniture and a $650 Garrett Dunsmoor Memorial Foundation grant for new equipment.

The library this year also was approved for a $311,000 project through the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative for improved outdoor seating areas.

Fulton’s library — listed on the National Register of Historic Places building — was built in the early 20th century and funded partly by famous American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It is one of 3,000 libraries throughout the country tied to Carnegie.

“I am so grateful and I feel really blessed to have this outpouring of support. It’s going to be a lot of work but the end result will be really nice,” Library Director Caroline Chatterton told The Palladium-Times Wednesday. “The library is going to be more fun and safe.”

New York State Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, this month announced four libraries in central New York — the Hepburn Library of the town of Madrid, Hepburn Library of the town of Waddington, Parish Public Library and the Fulton Public Library — would receive collectively more than $300,000 among them for improvements.

The Fulton Public Library will receive the most of the four buildings, according to Ritchie’s office.

“Libraries are critical components of communities throughout the region I represent. (They) provide everything from books and job searching tools to internet access and cultural events” Ritchie said.

The funding was awarded as part of a $14 million State Aid for Library Construction fund from the $177 billion 2020-2021 state budget, according to Ritchie’s office.

Chatterton said the improvements would include an expansion and equipment for the community room, increased storage space, and improvements to the building’s northern emergency exit.

The community room will be outfitted with a projector and receive more space through the removal of a wall — making the emergency exit easier to access, Chatterton said.

“We are moving the wall back with the utility room door and moving that back so that door won’t be there anymore,” the director said. “It will make the utility room smaller but it’s a good tradeoff for a safer exit.”

With the additional space, Chatterton said she is hopeful the library will be able to host additional activities for the children.

“In addition to having (more books), we have a robust children’s program. We will have more storage for materials and resources for our children’s program and literacy program,” Chatterton said.

She anticipated the community room would reopen after the improvements are completed late next year. The project is anticipated to start in June 2022.

However, residents will not have to wait that long before feeling the benefits of a new and improved library, Chatterton said.

The $28,000 awarded from the Shineman Foundation will “modernize” the children’s room through new furniture and bookshelves, she said.

“We plan to really make the children’s room more fun and engaging while also maintaining its historical integrity,” Chatterton said.

In addition to the new look, the Dunsmoor Foundation grant will provide the library with a new “mini-maker” section, tailored to up-and-coming artists, engineers or computer technicians looking to improve their technical skills.

Chatterton estimated the newly outfitted children’s room would be open to the public by the end of the year.

For more information, visit www. fultonpubliclibrary.org or call the library at 315-592-5159. 

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