Schenectady County Officially Opened New Mont Pleasant Branch Library on Saturday, May 4th
Schenectady County officials were joined today by members of the Schenectady County Public Library Board of Trustees, Friends of the Library, project donors and members of the community for a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the new Mont Pleasant Library Branch on Crane Street in Schenectady. A community open house and celebration was held immediately following the ribbon cutting.
“This really is a great day for the residents of Schenectady County, especially our families who will benefit from exciting new programs for all ages,” said Tony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.
The new library was built next door to the old library branch on the site of the former Chubby’s Pizza and an adjacent derelict parcel. The County took control of the site from the City IDA and demolished this notorious building that had more than 500 police calls in 2016.
The new facility is designed to be used by families and children and will provide services in early childhood, family and adult literacy, financial literacy, digital literacy, and other youth and adult programming. The focus on literacy is part of a community-wide effort involving the County, City, City School District, private foundations and others to equip every member of the community with solid reading and writing skills.
“We are extremely excited to bring this new Branch Library to the Mont Pleasant neighborhood,” said Rich Patierne, Chair of the County Legislature’s Committee on Libraries and Education. “Schenectady County is extremely proud of our library system and knows the dramatic impact it can have on the educational success of our children and the economic health of our community. This new and larger branch will allow us to better engage children and their families with new and exciting educational programing.”
“The new Mont Pleasant branch library is an excellent example of the power of a public/private collaboration," said Carmel Patrick, President of the Library Board of Trustees. “The Library trustees appreciate the many individuals and foundations, as well as the Friends of the Library, who joined with the County Legislature, the City of Schenectady's IDA, Metroplex, and the Schenectady County Land Bank to fully support this project. I am excited to see the tremendous impact the new branch will have on inspiring children and their families to be excited and enthusiastic about reading, and lead them towards a love of life-long learning."
With the new branch open, the old branch will now be demolished for expanded library parking. Legislators also believe the new library branch will serve as a catalyst for additional development on Crane Street.
“We have seen the positive impact that investments in a new building like this can have on the neighborhood, becoming a catalyst for continuing additional development,” said Legislator Gary Hughes, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Economic Development and Planning. “This new branch is replacing blighted buildings on a notorious corner that will now bring a new positive direction for the Crane Street business corridor.”
The total cost of the new branch is $2.6 million, with the Schenectady County Legislature committing $1.6 million and the remainder being contributed by community supporters including the Library Board of Trustees, Friends of the Library, Wright Family Foundation, The Little Foundation, Neil and Jane Golub, The Schenectady Foundation, former Library Board President Esther Swanker, Carlilian Foundation, and NYS Library Construction Fund. The County and Library staff have also submitting additional grant fund requests that if approved would offset costs to the County.