About 150 Harrison students have signed a letter urging the town board to support a proposed project that would renovate the Harrison Public Library.
The Harrison Public Library Foundation has been fundraising and building support for the proposed $3.6 million project. Trustees from HPLF are asking the town to fund about $1.1 million with grants and private donations making up the remainder of the project's cost.
Harrison students Grant Wissak and Nicole Suozzo are heading up the Harrison Public Library Foundation Junior Committee, which gathered the signatures.
The proposed improvements to the library include a new 3,200 sq. ft. children's area, 1,400 sq. ft. teen center, new computer lab, and renovated community room. The outside of the building would also be remodeled.
The letter reads as follows:
We, the students and future leaders of Harrison, believe that the Town’s Public Library is one of our most important educational, recreational, and cultural resources. Although its potential to enhance our communityis unlimited, today it does not even serve its critical role of supplementing our education at School because it is outdated, unappealing, and stuck in the 1900’s.
We have recently formed the Harrison Public Library Foundation Junior Committee to help you solve this pressing issue and respectfully ask the Town to consider the importance of our message.
Today, the current Library and Teen Center within it fail to meet our needs. We have one of the weakest libraries in Westchester County, which doesn’t make sense to us given how great our schools are and how great our town is.
We have friends in other nearby towns, which have actually invested in their libraries, who are lucky to have a place where they can go every day to get work done productively (individually or in groups), access technology resources, and spend time with friends and family in a safe and fun environment.
Just as we look to our school’s Library for assistance, resources, and space, we wish we could use the public library in the same way, particularly in the evenings, on weekends, and during the summer. Additionally, an improved public library will encourage members of the community of all ages to interact with each other and to learn together.
Putting multiple minds to one task is better than completing a project on your own and, despite the importance of phones and computers, face-to-face interaction remains critical.
The Harrison Public Library Foundation’s goal is one that is absolutely necessary for the Town of Harrison. Our aspirations for improving the library would impact the lives of all of our citizens and neighbors, not just the students. Through the Town’s support and funding of our mission, members of the Town Board would be communicating an important message: that the education of Harrison’s youth is important.
The Town Board’s commitment to making this dream a reality just might inspire us to one day also invest in and give back to the community—making the town better for our children, just as you will have done for us. There is nothing we would like more than for the Library to reach its full potential in Harrison. Please help.