Solvay library expansion set

The Solvay Public Library will begin its long-awaited construction and renovation project this month. The project will add a 7,500 square foot addition with an elevator, and will include the renovation of the existing 100-year-old building.

The Library will celebrate with an official groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. The ceremony will follow a Solvay Elementary School art reception from 1 to 3 p.m. The public is welcome at both events.

The Library Board of Trustees aggressively began efforts to renovate the two-story building in 2001 in order to address its handicapped accessibility issues and drainage problems. Since the 1980s, the library board explored the possibilities for installing an elevator in the Library.

In 2000, with the one-hundredth anniversary of the library pending and the hiring of a new library director, the board decided that the time was ripe to secure an architect to develop a building plan.

State funding secured by Senator John DeFrancisco kicked off the capital campaign that included two major fund-drives, several foundation grants totaling over $75,000, $300,000 in community development grants, several state grants, and corporate donations totaling over $70,000.

Congressman James Walsh secured a HUD grant of over $223,000. After five years, the library was still short of the needed funding to start, due to escalating construction costs from the Hurricaine Katrina aftermath and other economic stresses.

In the summer of 2006, the Village of Solvay Board of Trustees recognized that the fund-raising could not keep up with the inflating construction costs and presented the community with a resolution for a $2.25 million library construction bond. The Solvay community responded by passing the vote to bond.

The bid process took place in the beginning of 2007, with the lowest bidders being awarded the contracts. Northeast Construction will act as construction manager. JCM Architects will administer the contracts.

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