Pearl River Public Library proposes $24M, renovation

The Pearl River Public Library is planning a major renovation, but it comes with a hefty price tag.
The renovation campaign is proposing a 21st century library for $24 million. The project would cost taxpayers $187 per year.
“We know that now is a good time to do it because of the anticipated failure of the building,” says library director Eugenia Schatoff.
However, critics say the price is too high during a pandemic. The library was built in the 1960s, and the last time the building was renovated was 30 years ago.
One Facebook commenter believes "a new library is not necessary,” while another recommended doing “some minor renovations.”
Unfortunately, Schatoff says the damages are way past patchwork and believes "any investment taxpayers make is a benefit to the community, housing values.”
News 12 is told the list of necessary upgrades is long and includes repairs to leaking ceilings, old insulation and buckling floors.
“The existing foundation and structures will not hold up to the massive renovations we actually need,” says Schatoff.
The cost of maintenance and damage repair averages $9,000 per month.
About 60% of Pearl River residents are library members. 
Despite a pandemic, the library saw an increase in traffic last year.
  • Reference help increased by 25%
  • Cardholders increased by 2%
  • E-book circulation increased by 5%
In January, 2,600 people attended programs hosted by the library.
If the renovation doesn’t pass the proposal stage, the library may be forced to relocate and rent.
To learn more, the library hosts information sessions on Zoom to answer questions each first Tuesday of the month.
Click HERE to register for the next information session.