Construction is underway for a new patio leading to the entrance of the James Prendergast Library.
Community Outreach and Programming Manager Jennifer Champ said the project is being funded entirely with grants including $214,983 in New York State Public Library construction funds. Locally, the Lenna Foundation donated $37,200 and the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation granted $37,165 toward the project.
Champ said construction started on the patio and walkway last week, “It’s an outdoor community space. It’s going to have built-in benches, a trash receptacle, there’s lighting which was already installed last year – you can see that out there, and we have a new bike rack. So, it really is this community outdoor space. We’re going to use it for programs and events.”
Champ said the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation also donated a $4,000 grant for gardens around the patio.
She said they’re working with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy and Chautauqua County Master Gardeners on that part of the project, “I love gardening but they’re experts and they knew exactly what we needed, especially for the light and the sun and the soil. And, you know, we have to worry about salt and stuff during the wintertime of course. So, we’re going to have a beautiful native plant garden. And, next year we’re going to hopefully apply for more funding and we will expand the garden all the way around to the front of the library.”
Champ said that future expansion would include signs with information about the native plants.
She added that the library remains open during construction.
A dedication of the patio will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 24 as part of the Library’s Second Annual Block Party.