Schenectady County Celebrates the Official Unveiling of the New Library Plaza and Re-Dedication of Library Sculpture
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Joe McQueen
June 9, 2015
Schenectady County Celebrates the Official Unveiling of the New
Library Plaza and Re-Dedication of Library Sculpture
(Schenectady, NY) Schenectady County officials were joined today by Schenectady County Public Library Board of Trustees President Cheryl Cufari, members of the Library Board, and community members to officially unveil the newly renovated Library Plaza and re-dedicate the Sculpture “Ishmael” at the Central Library Branch.
The Library Plaza project, the final phase of the County’s Library Expansion and Improvement Project, was a collaboration between Schenectady County, the Library Board of Trustees, and the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority. The project included the replacement of sidewalks, tree planters, new landscaping and the enhancement of public spaces around the Central Library Branch. ReTree Schenectady also donated three birch trees for use in the new landscaping.
“This has been another great example of how working together we can achieve so much,” said Holly Vellano, Chair of the Legislature’s Education and Libraries Committee. “I thank the Library Board of Trustees and Metroplex for their efforts and commitment to our library and the residents of Schenectady County.”
The total investment for the plaza project was $370,000. Metroplex committed $185,000 to the project which was matched by a New York State Education grant of $110,000 and a $74,000 investment by the County Legislature.
The project also included the refurbishment of “Ishmael,” a sculpture by Arline Peartree Shulman, which was originally completed in the late 1960’s and welcomed library visitors entering from the Clinton Street parking area. Through a generous donation by Werner Fiebes, one of the original architects of the Schenectady County Central Library, the sculpture has been given new life and will now sit in the new Library Plaza at the corner of Liberty and Clinton Streets.
“I am so proud of the work the Board of Trustees has done with the County to complete our expansion and improvement project,” said Cheryl Cufari, President of the Library Board of Trustees. “What’s old is new again, and I am delighted that the residents of Schenectady County will be able to enjoy this new outdoor space and this special sculpture.”
“It is really exciting to have this new outdoor space for our residents to enjoy,” said Karen Johnson, Vice Chair of the Legislature’s Education and Libraries Committee. “Breathing new life into this space creates a Library Plaza that showcases our flagship Central Branch and better connects it to our revitalized downtown.”
The Central Library Expansion and Improvement Project included $2 million in upgrades already completed to the library’s heating and cooling, electrical, fire safety, and ventilation systems and asbestos abatement, and a 6,700 square foot library addition and the creation of a new children’s area.
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