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Allegheny County Regional Asset District Approves Bond Issue for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Capital Improvements

Contact:
Communications Manager
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
412-578-2458 (office)


$15 Million is important first step in comprehensive capital improvement program

(January 31, 2002) Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has received approval from the Allegheny County Regional Asset District to seek $15 million in tax-exempt bond financing for capital improvements. ARAD's approval marks an important first step toward the Library's comprehensive capital improvement program. The bond issue approved by ARAD enables the Library to modernize library facilities in five of the neighborhoods currently served. The first floor of the Main Library will also be reorganized and enhanced.

Among the improvements to be made are HVAC upgrades, the full range of code requirements, furnishings, lighting, ADA compliance, new technology, window and roof improvements, enhanced community meeting spaces and other features that are tailored to the needs of specific neighborhoods.

"We have had enormous cooperation from ARAD and a variety of public entities -- Mayor Murphy, City Council, County Executive Jim Roddey and the Allegheny County Industrial Development Authority. The approval of this financing plan is an important milestone for us," says Herb Elish, library director.

Mayor Tom Murphy stated, "From the youngest beginning readers, to teens learning to access the world of information that is available on the internet, to our oldest citizens who value all of the resources of libraries, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is a true regional asset. We applaud the ARAD for supporting the Library's capital financing plan."

"Carnegie Library has played such an integral role in many of our communities for the past century. It's important for us to seek methods such as tax exempt bonds, public subsidies and private contributions to maintain its status as one of the world's great library systems," said Chief Executive Jim Roddey. The Library will reallocate $1 million annually for 25 years from its operating budget to cover the annual debt service on the bonds. The Allegheny County Industrial Development Authority will issue the tax-exempt bonds. Architectural estimates have put the cost of system-wide improvements at $79 million. The Library will seek other private and public funding sources, including launching a capital campaign in late 2002.

Elish noted, "It is our intention to continue to provide every neighborhood we serve with the highest quality collections, programs and services in facilities that are accessible, safe and comfortable for all of our customers." The Library has initiated a community-based strategy to receive input from residents about each branch. This feedback will guide the programming and design phases of the project. Construction at the branches will begin in late 2002.

About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:
"Free to the People" since 1895

Through its Main Library, 18 neighborhood locations, bookmobiles and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh serves the dynamic and diverse information needs of people living in western Pennsylvania. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is a gateway to literature, culture, art, music, history, science and technology.

About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: "Free to the People" since 1895

Through its Main Library and 18 neighborhood locations, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh serves the dynamic and diverse information needs of people living in Western Pennsylvania. The Library is an important community anchor that provides universal access to literature, culture, art, music, history, business and technology.

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