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Grant bumps Sharpsburg library closer to expansion

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
The Herald
Jamie Cozza (seated) shows model of the new Sharpsburg Library plans to employee Lindsey Yerkins. Jan Pakler | for The Herald
The Herald
The current Community Library in Sharpsburg on Main Street before renovations begin. Jan Pakler | for The Herald

The Sharpsburg Community Library has received a boost to its expansion project.

The library was awarded a $349,701 grant through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.

The library, a branch of the Cooper-Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel, received a $250,000 grant from the Allegheny County Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund in December.

Stephanie Flom, executive director of the library, said the grant puts the total funds for the project at about $600,000.

She said library officials would like to raise about $200,000 more before beginning work.

With the Keystone grant in hand, the library will next turn to private foundations.

“We feel like the public sector has really done their job, now we'll be looking at the private sector to help fill the gap,” Flom said.

The Keystone grant makes appealing to those foundations easier, she said.

“It's so much more compelling to say we basically have the bulk of the funds in and now you can help us with the gap,” Flom said.

Flom thanked the public for its support of the library.

She also credited Kaden Construction of Sharpsburg, which provided an estimate that was needed for the grant proposal, and state Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-38) for their help.

Work on the expansion could begin by the end of the year.

“It would be wonderful if we're out to bid and under construction before year end,” Flom said.

The expansion for the library on Main St. includes a larger book and materials collection and new meeting rooms.

Front Studio Architects of Pittsburgh is serving as the architectural firm for the project.

The library was one of 15 in the state to receive funding.

The difficulty of receiving a Keystone grant makes it all the more special, Flom said.

“To get a Keystone grant really is a gold star for us because it basically says you've done really great planning and you've really designed an excellent library,” Flom said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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