State Senator George Latimer and Assemblyman Steve Otis are pleased to announce state construction grant awards for the New Rochelle and Rye City library systems. The grants are part of a $19 million capital fund appropriation for public library construction in the 2016 state budget.

The Rye Free Reading Room has been awarded $31,129 to create a quiet study space, while the New Rochelle Public Library will receive $78,804 to install a new HVAC system in its main building and a $28,804 grant to replace the interior windows of the Huguenot Children’s Library.

Otis, who serves on the Assembly Libraries and Education Technology Committee, stated: “These grants will help modernize and enhance our library spaces, making them more efficient, functional, and enjoyable for residents. State assistance for these important projects eases the burden on local property taxpayers to make these improvements.”

Latimer added, “For many years, libraries have served as a cornerstone in our communities. We have a responsibility to our communities — parents and children as well as the libraries, staff, and dozens of volunteers who support them — to ensure that the facilities are top-notch and best serve all those who utilize them.”

Rye Free Reading Room Director Chris Shoemaker said, “The new quiet study spaces will give teens and tutors a place to learn, and small business owners places to work and grow. We’re grateful for our legislators’ longtime support of libraries and the construction grant program.”