State Aid for Library Construction

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By Katherine Stone

The forms and procedures related to receiving State Aid for library construction can be overwhelming to navigate on your own.  Having many years of experience in the pre-construction phase of library projects, H2M architects + engineers can provide the professional services to guide and assist libraries with their applications, designs, bids, and permits; ensuring that everything gets completed in a timely matter.

Our typical grant application services include the preparation of a project abstract, description of project, impact of project, smart growth form, detailed building photographs, and project timetable; all which are required to be submitted with the grant application.  With architecture and engineering services under the same roof, we have project teams on hand to provide the expertise, knowledge, and experience necessary to streamline the grant application process and any other required approval forms such as SED, SHPO, or Environmental Assessment Forms.

SED (State Education Office) – SED approvals are required if a library building is owned by a School District or BOCES, and the total construction project cost will be $10,000 or more.  For libraries that fall under the jurisdiction of SED, project approval from the Office of Facilities Planning is a crucial step toward finalizing the Grant Application.  H2M will work with the library to strategically plan out the design and review the schedule to meet the annual grant deadline, as review periods are currently listed at 38-41 weeks for SED Engineering.

SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office) – For buildings 50 years or older, and/or when the proposed project involves ground disturbance and/or demolition, the project generally requires submission to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  Approval documentation is required to be submitted with each grant application.

Environmental Assessment Forms – The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) requires libraries to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of proposed projects, and to ensure that adverse impacts of proposed projects are minimized.  H2M has the qualified staff on hand to make these assessments and prepare the requisite forms.

If you’re unsure of how much the anticipated renovations will cost, or where to even begin, H2M can also perform an analysis of the existing library building including the exterior building envelope and structure, building HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems, and layout and space allocations.  A detailed work items list is compiled, listing scope items in order of recommended prioritization, based on expected system life-span, programmatic goals, etc., along with preliminary costs, for your use in planning and funding allocation.

As you begin the grant application process, it’s important to remember that H2M is here to help.  We look forward to working with you.  For more information, please contact Katie Stone at (631) 756-8000 x 1321 or via email kstone@h2m.com.

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