City helping Pottsville library apply for grant for roof, HVAC repairs

Oct. 4—Officials at the Pottsville Free Public Library hope a state grant will fix its aging roof and heating and air conditioning system.

City council recently agreed to apply for a Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation grant for the work at the library, in the 200 block of West Market Street.

City officials will apply for the grant on behalf of the library board of trustees.

The money will be used to cover the costs of a new roof and to replace the library’s three HVAC units on the roof of the building.

Jean Towle, executive director, said both the system and roof are more than 20 years old, and the library has experienced problems with both. The building was constructed in 1922.

The air conditioning and heating system broke down several times over the summer, she said, leading to service calls.

The aging roof has leaked, with water damage visible in several areas of the library, including the staff bathroom, local history room and technical service rooms.

“We’ve had to put buckets around the building to catch the dripping water,” Towle said Friday.

She said numerous ceiling tiles have been replaced because of the leaks.

Repairs are estimated to cost a combined $100,000-plus, but an exact amount won’t be known until quotes are obtained.

The grant, administered by the state Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Bureau of Library Development, would pay for half of the repairs and the library would cover the other half.

Towle said in a letter to the council that the library, with help from the city, applied for the funds last year but didn’t receive them.

“We are attempting again to seek funding for these much needed items,” she wrote.

Towle is happy the city and the library are working together.

“I’m glad they are supportive of the library,” she said.

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