VALATIE–The Valatie Free Library Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting Monday for the last time in the Church Street library. The board plans to complete its move to its newly renovated space on Kinderhook Street by next week.
The 660-square-foot Church Street library was scheduled to be permanently closed Wednesday, January 6, with the opening of the new library at 1036 Kinderhook Street set for Tuesday, January 12. The new library comes with a parking lot and nearly double the space of the old library.
Renovations on the Kinderhook Street building were mostly donated by contractor Jeff Johnson of J&J Contracting. The board estimated the cost was $18,000 for the repairs, which was mostly spent on materials. The library board raised the funds to cover those cost in a capital fund, which was separate from the library’s general operating fund.
“We had some generous donors,” said Board Treasurer Fran Fullerton at the January 4 meeting. She said there was still about $8,000 in the fund for needed repairs to the building. A board committee plans to meet to put together a report on what still needs to be done and get estimates for those projects. The future projects include work on the roof and finishing the front room.
The board also has an ultimate design plan for the building, which is online at www.valatielibrary.net. According to Board President Erica Balon, speaking in a phone interview after the board meeting, these upgrades, which took about a month, were just to get the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so the new building could open. “What we did right now was make it handicap accessible,” she said. The work also included expanding the bathrooms and a deck with ramp.
At the meeting the board said that donations can still be made to the capital fund. Trustee Matthew Griesemer pointed out that patrons can “make it clear it’s for a specific fund” when they donate.
The library bought the 1,900-square-foot historic Steam Railroad Freight Barn on Kinderhook Street in March 2011 for $125,000. According to the library’s newsletter, the Valatie Free Library has been at the building on Church Street since 1948. The library is chartered by the state to serve the Village of Valatie, the hamlet of Niverville and parts of the Town of Kinderhook.
Besides the donations from community members for the work, the library also received about $6,000 in state funds through the office of state Senator Kathy Marchione (R- 41st). The state funds were designated for roof repair at the new building and for new computers. “She’s been pretty helpful,” Ms. Fullerton told the board at the meeting.
At 9 a.m. Saturday morning, January 9, library Director Elizabeth Powhida and a crew of volunteers will load vehicles with the library’s collection for the short trip from Church Street to the Kinderhook Street building. Plans are for the new library building to open by noon Tuesday. There are currently no plans to change the library’s hours, which are posted on their website.
The Board of Trustees meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .