Frankford library gets $200k in grants for expansion

The staff at the Frankford Public Library is two steps closer to making their dream of enlarging their space a reality. Library Director Liz Hamilton said this week that they received notice that they would be receiving a Longwood Foundation grant in the amount of $150,000 and a Crystal Trust grant in the amount of $50,000.

“That’s what’s come out of this round,” explained Hamilton, who said she is currently working on a $50,000 grant application to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Hamilton also said the state library division has suggested they get an interior consultant to come and view the current library and also the plans for the interior of the expansion, to get a feel for what might be needed inside. Hamilton said they have a consultant coming from Florida at the end of the month to do just that.

“She has offered us some first round changes she thinks would be good,” said Hamilton.

A remaining hurdle in the process is receiving the state portion of their funding, which she said they hope to receive notice about in April or May. Once they get the go-ahead with that, and if enough other support comes in, they’d like to go ahead with the project this summer, she said.

Hamilton explained that they are asking the State for $320,000 – about 40 percent of their total needed funds, which total an estimated $800,000 for the expansion.

The library has about $200,000 in their building fund now, with certificates and contributions. Hamilton said that, last year, they went to the State to see if they could build a structure smaller than the recommended 10,000 square feet for a new library – a minimum that is a near pre-requisite for State funding. They originally had a plan for that 10,000-square-foot library, but they were then told by state officials that they wouldn’t have enough money to run a library that big.

“It’s sort of a Catch 22. We had a meeting, and we said, ‘We are what we are — what do we do?’” recalled Hamilton. She explained that they had subsequently received a special dispensation to build a smaller library, with the condition that there be the capability to eventually go to 10,000 square feet if and when they need to.

They then went back to the drawing board. Now, the plans call for their current 2,000 feet of space to be renovated, an additional 4,000 square feet to be built and another 4,000 square feet (which would be built as a second story) to be added later, should they need it. Complete plans and renderings are available at the library.

Residents and users of the library who wish to be a part of the effort can donate individually online, through PayPal. For more information on the library or how to help, visit www.frankfordlibray,org.