Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 27, 2018—Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced August 17 that the Baldwin Borough Public Library was awarded a $500,000 grant to support the library’s renovation of the Leland Center in Baldwin Borough as the library’s new home. This is the second $500,000 grant awarded to the library within the last 18 months.
In making the announcement Governor Wolf said, “Public libraries are essential to quality of life and civic education in our communities and I am proud to work with Baldwin Borough and Senator Brewster to expand the offerings and size of this important part of their community.” (See the Governor’s official statement here)
Senator Brewster, who worked closely with library officials and Baldwin Borough municipal leaders, championed the library’s request from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. “Libraries are an integral part of any community – and the Baldwin Borough Public Library is no exception,” said Senator James Brewster. “The Baldwin Borough Library has been incredibly forward thinking in their 21st century strategic plan, and this funding will enable them to bring that plan to life. I am so proud to have been able to work with the Governor and the community to bring state funding back home.”
“We are delighted with word of this wonderful grant,” said library board President Kelly Mossbauer, “and so thankful to Governor Wolf, Senator Brewster, and our state representatives Bill Kortz and Harry Readshaw, for their ongoing support for our plans. So many in the community have rallied behind our project through personal contributions and support from the business community, but it’s important everyone understands that fundraising is continuing, especially considering we are required to match a portion of the grant with local funds,” added Mossbauer. We also find VA loan rates very attractive, if eligible.
The renovation of the Leland Center will cost $2.6 million, or $3.1 million if the library is successful in raising an additional half-million dollars to build a 1,000 sq. ft. addition to enlarge the space allocated for children. The $500,000 grant from the state has given added impetus to community-wide fundraising, and supports the library’s appeal for funding from local and regional charitable foundations. With this new grant the library has raised more than $1.8 million in cash, pledges, and in-kind support.
“Our ‘stretch’ goal of $3.1 million includes the cost of the basic renovations, expanded programming, endowment, and reserves, plus the $500,000 for the expanded children’s area,” explained Mossbauer. “Our decision to proceed with the addition will be made in the next several weeks, and will be determined by how fundraising is going,” she added.
Plans call for bright, open space with natural light, expanded mobile computer stations and new digital lending materials, and separate areas for adults, teens and children. Comfortable, plush seating and furnishings will allow for browsing, quiet study and relaxed reading; and a large, flexible meeting space will accommodate both library and community programs. Special handicapped parking will be available in the front of the building, and ample free parking will be available at the rear of the building.
More information about the library and project can be found at www.baldwinborolibrary.org.
About the Baldwin Borough Library
Established in 1974, the Baldwin Borough Library has served Baldwin and other South Hills residents and businesses with a ranging of print and digital materials, educational and personal development programs, and outreach activities since its inception. The first library was a small lending operation based in the Baldwin Borough Municipal Building, and in 1988, because of increasing demand for services, the library relocated to the former Wallace Elementary School building on Macek Drive in space leased from the Baldwin Whitehall School District. Continued growth in the number of library visitors and acquisition of new print and digital materials placed a strain on library staff and patrons. Although the library purchased land on Churchview Avenue with the intent of building a new facility, construction costs proved prohibitive and the library board began looking for alternatives. In 2016 Baldwin Borough Council approached library officials with the plan to donate the building to the library, plus cash to assist with repairs and renovations. The transfer of the property formally occurred in early 2018. The library is now seeking a buyer for its Churchview property, proceeds from which will be applied toward the new library building fund. For more information, contact Library Director Jenny Worley 412-885-2255 email@example.com.