The Friends of the South End Library is pleased to report that our request for a grant from the Pru-PAC Community Benefits Committee has been approved!! This grant, combined with generous donations from private donors and library patrons will ensure that the handicapped-accessible door will be installed as soon as Pru-Pac's funds become available. A date for the disbursement of the grant funds has not been set.
FOSEL applied for a grant of $8,000 to fund a capital improvement project at the South End branch of the Boston Public Library, specifically the installation of an automated door to allow library patrons with physical disabilities, as well as the elderly patrons and parents with strollers, to access their community library. As you know, the current doorway consists of two separate heavy doors both of which must be opened by hand. With the installation of a handicapped-accessible door, the South End Library will be one of a handful of BPL branches to become fully ADA compliant, since the library already has an elevator to the second floor.
BPL did not allocate money to support this vital need in their capital budget but it did express strong support for FOSEL’s campaign to raise funds for this project. As this is a capital improvement project, BPL will have direct supervision over the installation of any handicapped- accessible entrance way and control over the bidding process and the selection of a contractor. However, we anticipate a swift completion upon distribution of the funds from PRUPac.
Prudential Center developers contribute money to the fund only when a building permit is issued. Following issuance of the permits for the Exeter Residences, $302,500 was contributed. The second project, at 888 Boylston Street is currently in a holding pattern. However, when the required permits are issued another $169,500 will be contributed to the fund. It is unclear at this time whether the South End Library funding will come from future or current funding.
Having identified a handicapped-accessible entrance to the library as a priority issue, FOSEL embarked on a private fundraising campaign to raise the necessary funds to have an automated entrance system installed. To date, we have raised over $6,000 from South End residents to accomplish our goal. The Pru-PAC committee took into account which projects which had secondary funding sources, so our neighbor's generous contributions were a vital component in the approval of FOSEL's grant request. Thank you all!!