Construction Grants

MP9001828192017-2020 Construction Grants

Available funds | How do I apply? | Resources and forms

***Applications must be submitted in full by FRIDAY, September 1, 2017***

Construction Grants are a matching grant that New York State offers every year. All public libraries are eligible to apply for a 50% matching Construction Grant. Most public libraries in our service area may apply through FLLS for a Construction Grant to fund up to 75% of a three-year project. Please see the Reduced Match Eligibility Chart to see if you qualify. Please note that this is a very competitive year for Construction Grants. FLLS recommends that libraries applying for a grant show/have at least 50% matching funds for their project. Routine maintenance does not qualify. Eligible project activities and expenditures include:

Site acquisition: Purchase of vacant land (Library Construction Bill (S.4101/A.113) or land with an existing building and evidence of plans and available funding to construct a new building or parking lot.

New construction: New building, an addition to an existing building, demolition and/or site preparation.

Building renovation/rehabilitation, such as:
•  Installation of photovoltaic panels, geothermal wells, and other alternative energy resources;
•  Replacement of roofs, windows, and doors;
•  Accessible entryways (ramps & doorways) and bathrooms;
•  Installation of elevators;
•  New electrical, plumbing, lighting, and HVAC;
•  New driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots;
•  Reconstruction /reconfiguration of existing space (for example, reconfiguring a current room to include a dedicated “Teen Corner”);
•  New furniture, equipment, and shelving for a new or newly reconfigured space.
• The purchase and installation of generators as a back-up to existing utility systems;
• The purchase and installation of assistive listening systems (including loops);
• The installation of broadband connections (monthly connection fees are not eligible);
• The purchase and installation of exterior signage, with or without lighting.
• Expensive projects with a large scope that are not done every year, such as carpet replacement for large areas of the building and repointing bricks, are also eligible and are not considered routine maintenance.

How much money is available?

The minimum grant award is $2,500, for a minimum total project cost of $5,000. There is no maximum award, but there is a finite pool of money available to split between applicants. We encourage libraries to show matching funds as close to 50% as possible in case the total award amount for eligible projects exceeds our allocated award amount.

As outlined in Education Law 273a,  a total of $24 million is allocated to NYS public libraries and systems. Sixty percent ($14.4 million) is available solely for member library projects. That sixty percent is based on population served. The amount received by each system for its member libraries is no greater than the ratio of the population served by the system to the population of the state as a whole. Forty percent of the $24 million ($9.6 million) is available for use by the library system and/or its member libraries and is divided equally among the 23 public library systems.

NYS designated a total of $653,181 in construction aid for our service area for 2018.  See the allocation chart.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying please:

  1. Review the FLLS Construction Grant Guidelines and the basic criteria described in our Application Overview and Checklist to determine your eligibility (see links below) and;
  2. Contact us ASAP to let us know you are thinking of applying and to schedule a site visit (required so that we have a good understanding of your project). Please contact State Programs Coordinator Kristi Downham at or 607-273-4074 x228.

Please note that the application process is not difficult, but it involves a fair amount of paperwork that can take multiple months to complete.

Resources and Forms

Guidelines and FAQs:

FLLS 2017 Construction Grant Guidelines PDF iconOfficial eligibility guidelines, reduced match qualification criteria, and FLLS’s criteria for prioritizing award amounts.
2017 FLLS Construction Grant Application Overview & ChecklistPDF iconPlease review these instructions and checklist before starting your application!
FLLS_Tutorial Construction Grant SubmissionPDF icon – A visual walkthrough for setting up your online account and filling out the application.

Create an online NYS Directory Account (required for the application portal)
Online Portal Login
ADA Fact Sheet on Current Guidelines these new revised regulations for public entities went into effect in 2011.
DLD: Construction Grants Program Overview
DLD: Frequently Asked Questions

Calculate Reduced Match Statistics:

NYS Free and Reduced Lunch Statistics  (Select the County, change the Claim Period to Dec (or any month from the previous year), check the Public School box and click Find.  You can copy and paste into a spreadsheet.)

Poverty Rates: Search for your area and then click the blue box marked “poverty” on the left side of the results.

Reduced Match Eligibility: This chart shows if your library is eligible for a reduced match.

Forms for your Application:

NOTE: The FLLS Construction Grant Application Overview and Checklist linked  contains detailed guidance for filling out each form.

A. The following forms must be submitted directly to FLLS:

FS-10 form:  Download from the Construction Grant Portal. This will auto fill from the budget section of the application.  – Submit FOUR original copies (signed in blue ink)
Payee Information Form & W-9 Form: .PDF PDF icon   – Submit TWO original copies (signed in blue ink)

B. The following documents must be submitted as signed PDFs, uploaded online:

If you don’t have a scanner, you can take a picture with a regular camera (or most cell phones) using the “flash–off” or “document” setting. Open the picture on your computer, click “Save as”, and save as a pdf.

1. Assurances form:  PDF PDF iconmust be signed by Board President at a Board meeting prior to the deadline!
2. SHPO approval documentation: (may be required if your building is more than 50 years old or older and/or project involves ground disturbance or demolition). Please note that SHPO approval is a month-long process! This is now an online submission.  The criteria to review (including work excluded from review) is here: SHPO Guidelines PDF icon 
3. Short environmental assessment form: Part 1; Part 2 & 3PDF icon More information and Long environmental assessment form: Part 1Part 2; Part 3PDF icon  (if required); more information
4. Smart Growth form
5. Contractor quote documents
6. Certification of available funds to finance project — e.g. a bank statement, proof of bond, legislative member item, or letter by board official on official letterhead
7. Certification of required minimum lease/legal agreement and project approval from the building owner (if you rent the building)
8. Office of Facilities planning approval (required only if your building is owned by a school district and project total cost is over $10,000)
9. Photographs