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Harrison Reaches Agreement On $3.6M Library Renovation

The town has reached a deal on a $3.6 million renovation to the Harrison Public Library
The town has reached a deal on a $3.6 million renovation to the Harrison Public Library Photo Credit: Patrick Stapleton, file

HARRISON, N.Y. -- The Town of Harrison has reached an agreement with the Richard E. Halperin Memorial Fund, the Harrison Public Library and the Harrison Public Library Foundation for a $3.6 million renovation to the library .

The town will contribute $1.1 million to the renovation, and the Halperin Foundation will contribute another $1.1 million. Funds raised by the Library Foundation and various grants bring the total amount raised to $2.4 million. The foundations will be working to raise the other $1.2 million needed by the end of the year, with construction expected to begin in June 2014.

The renovation will see the size of the Children's Area doubled to 3,200 square feet. A new 1,400-square-foot teen center will be added, as well as a classroom for programs such as ESL, computer skills and employment seminars. The number of computers will be increased from 12 to 41. Large front-facing windows will be installed to spread more light in the Adult Area, and the amount of seating will be increased from 90 seats to 175 seats.

The agreement was approved by the Town Board at its meeting Thursday. Of the money that the town will contribute, about $650,000 will come from funds set aside for infrastructure updates and $450,000 from the town's contract with Cablevision.

"This is the ringing of the bell of a town and community fundraising effort," said Councilman Joseph Cannella. "It's only the beginning. What really needs to happen now is the real work."

"Our hope and wish and desire is that the community steps in here and this turns into a wonderful project that everyone can be proud of," said Councilman Steve Malfitano.

Ross Halperin, executive director of the Harrison Public Library Foundation, appreciated the agreement. Halperin has been working to raise money for library renovations since the death of his father, Richard, in 2008.

"Over the next nine months, we have a lot of work to do in terms of raising as much money as we possibly can, and we're looking forward to tapping into all the different facets of the community to do that."

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