Allegheny County Council President Rich Fitzgerald came to the Carnegie Library of Homestead yesterday bearing a significant gift -- a $150,000 check from the county Department of Economic Development.
The funds came from a Community Development Block Grant and will be used to begin infrastructure improvements in preparation for the installation of an elevator that will make all three floors of the library, built in 1898, accessible to the disabled, said Library Board President Dan Lloyd. The library is still seeking funding for the elevator.
The grant was the second major gift recently received by the historic library, which is actually located in Munhall. The library board plans to soon renovate and enlarge the children's and teen area with a $50,000 grant from the Allegheny Foundation and a $10,000 gift from Janney Investments.
The project will enlarge the current 850-square-foot children's library by about 50 percent, said Mr. Lloyd, who is also a Munhall councilman. He made the announcements at a late-day news conference yesterday at the library.
The new children's area will be across from the new adult reading room the library dedicated in November. The adult room was restored to what officials believe is its original design and the project was funded by grants from the Donald A. Abraham memorial committee and former Homestead native William Campbell, who is chairman of Intuit Inc.
Mr. Lloyd also announced a new web site and new ticket sales service for the Carnegie Library Music Hall, which will be easier for those who want tickets to use and will increase the music hall's profits by about $1,000-$1,500 per show. The Web site is www.Librarymusichall.com.
The new ticket service will become available as soon as new acts are booked for the hall. For the shows currently booked through May 3, ticket sales are through Ticketmaster.
Yesterday's good news announcements were in contrast to the negative news from the library during 2008, when it experienced a $300,000 drop in its endowment, which prompted the board lay off the executive director, library director and a technical employee of the music hall.
Mary Niederberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .