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groton mapGroton, NY - Senator James Seward and Assemblymember Barbara Lifton visited the Groton Public Library to announce that they each had nominated the Library for a State Assistance to Municipalities Grant for $350,000 for a total of $700,000 to support the Library's Expansion Project.

The Board of Trustees have committed to a 2,000 square foot expansion of the Library facilities to connect immediately behind the existing building. Sheri Shurtleff, Board President, stated "…that there has been a 64% increase in people attending various programs in the past three years and that growth is continuing this year. The planned expansion will include a large flexible space to accommodate this growing need for children's programs; youth and teen programs, author visits, and more thus allowing us to rededicate the front of the Library to quiet reading area that so many people enjoy."

Campaign Committee Chair, Carl Haynes, praised Senator Seward and Assemblymember Lifton for their early and strong support for our Library Expansion. He emphasized that without their extraordinary and significant commitment our expansion simply would not be possible. Haynes also offered strong praise for the Foundations, local businesses, and individuals including members of both Boards for their support and donations.

Senator James L. Seward said, "Our libraries are significant educational resources that also serve as community hubs, certainly the case in Groton. The Groton Public Library continues to expand and find new ways to answer community needs and the state grant funds will ensure this valuable resource remains for generations to come. Library director Sara Knobel and her entire staff are to be commended for developing a wide range of programs and services that meet the evolving needs of the community. I also want to single out Lee Shurtleff and his family for their generous land donation to facilitate the expansion project."

"It gives me great pleasure to have nominated the Groton Library's expansion project for a state grant," said Assemblywoman Lifton. "The library has seen a dramatic increase in visitors recently, and this expansion will help accommodate that growth, as well as expanded programming for children, teens, and author visits for people of all ages. I especially want to thank Executive Director Sara Knobel for her work in shaping the library into a true community center, as seen in her efforts to collaborate with the Food Bank of Southern Tier and other services that provide food and meal planning services to members of the Groton community. Libraries have become critical safety-net institutions in our communities, and the Groton Library's expansion is an acknowledgment that they are committed to continuing this important work."

The Board has contracted with Holmes, King, Kallquist & Associates, Architects, LLP, of Syracuse who have extensive experience in designing libraries and library expansions throughout Central New York. Preliminary design development is underway for the Board's review and ultimate approval.

There is a lengthy review process as well by the State before final authorization to allow the project to be bid and to move ahead with construction. The Board remains hopeful for final approvals by early Spring so construction can be underway during the Summer of 2019.

The total project cost is estimated at $975,000. The Board has committed $125,000 from their reserve funds to support the expansion. In the meantime, the Friends of The Groton Public Library, whose mission is to raise monies to support the Library, has launched a Campaign to raise $150,000 for the Expansion. To date they have raised over $90,000 and are now reaching the community at large for their support. An anonymous donor has offered a challenge grant of $30,000 to match all donations received or pledged by September 30, 2018.

Sue Haynes, President of the Friends of the Groton Public Library, whose mission is to raise funds to support the Library, also praised Senator Seward and Assemblymember Lifton for their strong commitment to the vital role that our Library provides to our community. Haynes stated "…that our fund-raising campaign is now going out to the community at large for support. I encourage all who value the services of the Groton Public Library to support this expansion with a donation or a pledge of support."

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