Senator Guy Reschenthaler (R-37) and Representative Mark Mustio (R-44) have announced that the Western Allegheny Community Library and North Fayette Township have been awarded a state grant to make much-needed improvements to the library and infrastructure.
The renovations will include replacing the roof of the library, updating the Youth Services space to create a larger and more open area, and creating a designated family/child play space.
“Western Allegheny Community Library promotes kindergarten readiness and lifelong learning, supports workforce development, and offers opportunities to be creative and learn new skills,” Reschenthaler said. “These improvements will make this outstanding community resource even better and allow more area residents to take advantage of the many programs and services that it offers, particularly young people. I am pleased that local officials and community leaders worked so effectively together to ensure that this project received state funding.”
“It is always great partnering with Senator Reschenthaler to help bring back funds for community assets,” Mustio said. “There is no better community asset in West Allegheny than the public library.”
“We were fortunate in being able to live in this space for a while, because the needs of our community became clearer with time. Use of the library has been expanding steadily every year we have been here, which gives us the “good” problem of needing more space. Luckily, we have it for the taking – and we can grow again”, said Pam Perry, Library Board President.
“We are thrilled to be the recipient of this Keystone Grant and are extremely thankful to Senator Reschenthaler and Rep. Mustio for their role in acquiring the funds. This grant will help us continue to move the library forward and better serve the needs of our community,” said Amanda Kirby, Library Director.
The library serves the Townships of Findlay and North Fayette and Oakdale Borough, and has been in its new location at 181 Bateman Road since 2013.
Before moving into the current building, the library board undertook an extensive renovation to prepare the space for the library, knowing that some projects would remain undone until after the move. The grant will enable that renovation to continue.
Reschenthaler said the library and the township received the grant through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, which was established by an act of the General Assembly in 1993.
The Department of Education, through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Bureau of Library Development, administers the public library portion of this program, which is funded from a portion of the realty transfer tax.
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis and pay up to 50 percent of eligible costs in planning, acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of public libraries.
The mission of the Western Allegheny Community Library is to inspire, engage and educate the community through high quality, fun, creative and informative programming and services. The library currently serves over 20,000 residents with a 45,000 item collection, over 900 programs a year, and its signature mobile library “Book Bus,” a partnership with West Allegheny School District and Monark Student Transportation, which extends its programs and services throughout the community. To learn more about WACL, visit www.westernalleghenylibrary.org.