Monday, July 16, 2012

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin Announces $2 Million Funding For New Roosevelt Island Library, Not Clear When Library Will Open

Image of NYC Council Member Lappin, NYPL President Anthony Marx and Roosevelt Island Kids

Last Friday, Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin stood in front of our current dilapidated library accompanied by NY Public Library President Anthony Marx and Roosevelt Island children. Ms. Lappin and Mr. Marx were here to announce that she has secured $2 million from the NYC 2013 Fiscal Year Budget to move the Roosevelt Island Library to a new location at 504 Main Street's first floor. Here's what Ms. Lappin and Mr. Marx had to say about the new Roosevelt Island library.

Following Ms. Lappin's announcements I asked how much money is necessary to open the new Roosevelt Island Library and when it can be expected to open. Ms Lappin said they had enough money to build the new branch and NYPL President Marx said the library could be ready within a matter of months.

I also asked Ms. Lappin about her plans to run for Manhattan Borough President. Ms. Lappin declined to address that question. Here's the Q&A.

But, at the conclusion of Ms. Lappin's remarks, NYPL Spokesperson Angela Montefinise told me that the new Roosevelt Island library may not open quite so fast and that additional monies may be necessary.

Ms. Montefinise followed up with the following message:
1 - We are still in the very early stages of negotiating a lease for 504 Main Street, but regardless of what happens on the second floor, we are going to require sound proofing of our space.

2 - As for money, thanks to the support of Councilwoman Lappin and others, we have more than enough to move forward with the new Roosevelt Island Library. As for the final pricetag, that will depend on the concrete design and plans.

3 - We don't not have a firm timeline yet (when Tony said a few months, he was talking about the time it would take for the space to be ready for us to take over).
I asked Ms. Montefinise:
I just want to make sure I correctly understand whether any additional funds are necessary to open the new Roosevelt Island library at 504 Main Street.

You indicated in earlier message

As for money, thanks to the support of Councilwoman Lappin and others, we have more than enough to move forward with the new Roosevelt Island Library. As for the final pricetag, that will depend on the concrete design and plans.

Is the money now available to "move forward" sufficient to pay whatever the "final pricetag" may be for the Roosevelt Island Library or will additional funds be required? If not and additional funds are required, can you provide a ballpark estimate of how much money is needed?
Will update when additional information is received.

Here's the Press Release from Ms. Lappin's office announcing that she has secured funding for Roosevelt Island organizations and projects
Councilwoman Jessica Lappin is pleased to announce that she successfully secured over $4 million for Roosevelt Island projects and organizations in the FY 13 city budget passed by the New York City Council on June 28th. That funding includes $2 million for the Roosevelt Island Library to move into a new space at 504 Main Street, $1.85 million for the completion of the FDR Four Freedoms Memorial, which is scheduled to open in October 2012, and $150,000 for the FDR Hope Memorial.

“Roosevelt Island is going through a spectacular transformation, and I’m proud to support the groups that have been there in the past and will continue to shape the Island in the future,” Lappin said. “It’s especially exciting that this funding will help build a new home for the Island’s public library.” The current cramped branch has been beset by problems for years, including water leaks that have harmed the collection. Previously, Councilwoman Lappin secured $1 million for the new space, and this year Mayor Michael Bloomberg allocated $500,000 for it.

“We are enormously grateful to Councilmember Lappin, whose $3 million capital commitment allows us to proceed with a vastly improved library for the growing community on Roosevelt Island," said Anthony W. Marx, President of the New York Public Library. "Thanks to the strong support of the Councilmember, as well as Mayor Bloomberg and Borough President Scott Stringer, we can double the size of the Roosevelt Island branch, and in turn offer our patrons increased access to programming, computers, classes, books, and all the services the library has to offer."

“Every step of the way, Jessica provided financial support and personal advocacy to ensure the first memorial to President Franklin Roosevelt in his home state would finally be built as planned on Roosevelt Island,” said Sally Minard, President of FDR Four Freedoms Park. “Without Jessica’s early and constant advocacy, we would not be delivering this new civic space to New Yorkers and citizens of the world, on budget and on schedule, this fall.”

“Jessica has been an absolutely critical champion for this project,” said Gina Pollara, Executive Director of FDR Four Freedoms Park. “We are grateful for her commitment and her understanding of the importance of the park for our city and our nation.”

"The Roosevelt Island Disabled Association and its subcommittee the FDR Hope Memorial Subcommittee have worked to turn a historical fact into a memory and from that memory a memorial that is becoming a constant inspiration to people of all ages and health stages,” said Jim Bates, Chairman of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association. “This is being brought steps closer by a grant from Councilwoman Jessica Lappin and we appreciate it so much"

“We're thrilled with the all of the tireless work that Council Member Lappin has done to help Roosevelt Island,” said Leslie Torres, President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). “The funding that she has secured will directly benefit Roosevelt Islanders of all ages, from school children and little leaguers to members of our senior association. We're also grateful for her support and funding for the FDR Four Freedoms Memorial, which will open in October at the south end of Southpoint Park, and will further establish Roosevelt Island as a must-see destination for visitors. Council Member Lappin continues to be a great friend to our community.”

Council Member Lappin was able to allocate city money for the following:

Roosevelt Island Public Library

$2 million to complete interior and rehabilitate exterior

FDR Four Freedoms Park

$1.85 million for Phase 1-3 of construction

FDR Hope Memorial

$150,000 for construction of memorial in Southpoint Park

PS/IS 217

$175,000 for library upgrade

Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISA)

$28,000 for senior education and recreation programs

PS/IS 217 Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

$10,000 for in-school art program

Roosevelt Island Youth Program

$10,000 for youth music lessons and free Little League program

New York Junior Tennis League, Inc.

$10,000 for free tennis lessons at Octagon Park.

Roosevelt Island Disabled Association

$6,000 for transportation to events and venues

The Child School

$5,000 for after-school program for children with emotional learning disabilities.

Roosevelt Island Historical Society

$5,000 for preservation and presentation of archival materials and public programming

Island Kids

$4,000 for summer camp program
and the rest of Ms. Lappin's announcement last Friday on Roosevelt Island.

Unedited video of Friday's announcement is here.

UPDATE 7/18 - A NYPL representative advises that the exact cost of building the Roosevelt Island Library at 504 Main Street will not be known until actual plans are developed. However, they anticipate that sufficient funds from a variety of sources will be available for it to be built.


NOtaserME said...

There is also a budget of $75,000 for taser, a disproportionate amount considering the budget for the rest of the programs, except if course, the NYPL (phew!!, where everyone is welcomed)