Library looks at grant for windows

GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville Public Library is waiting on the final step before it can be awarded a $200,000 state grant that would be used to replace some of its large arched windows.

While the building is one of the more notable and visually striking buildings in the city, the beauty of age comes with a price.

Library Director Barbara Madonna applied for the $200,000 grant from the Division of Library Development in September, and recently she was told the grant is in the final step before it will be funded and cleared for use.

She said the grant is being approved by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

“We still haven’t had an official word from them,” Madonna said. “They can usually indicate to you whether your project is eligible under the grant guidelines and don’t usually work with you that far into the process if there is no way you are going to get the money.”

Madonna said the state sets aside about $14 million every year for public library construction, which is then distributed to various libraries based factors such as population.

The grant plus $30,000 from Friends of the Library fundraising efforts, a $50,000 anonymous donation and the remaining $15,000 from the capital project budget will be used to replace some windows.

Madonna said the plan for the grant money is to replace about eight of the 16 large arched windows in the library that have been in disrepair for quite sometime.

However, she said, the number of windows to be replaced will be determined by how high or low the bids come in for the window work.

Madonna said she hopes to have the bids for the work out soon, so the work will then be able to start in the fall.

“I am not going to spend any of that money until I know we are getting this grant,” Madonna said.

Madonna estimated to replace all 16 windows would cost the library about $485,000.

Over the past several years, the library has had a masonry cleaning project, repointed exterior masonry, fixed a leak in the basement, renovated the lobby and installed new lighting.

On Wednesday, Madonna pointed out many of the gaps in the wood frames of the windows at the library, and showed how some of the windows are even bolted shut with a wing nut.

Madonna explained the windows create a problem during all the seasons because they don’t seal tight during the winter and can’t be opened in the summer. She also explained how because many of the windows on the top level of the library open like a door flush to the floor, it creates a safety concern during the summer: if children run into them, the only thing separating them from a terrible fall is a screen.

She said the new windows will eliminate safety concerns and help insulate the building by keeping it warm in the winter months and cooler during the summer.

The Carnegie library was constructed in 1904 and will be 109 years old later this year. Madonna said the windows were last replaced when the city ran the property in the 1970s.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at