Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
09/29/17 3:00 PM CT
Grants to Minnesota public library jurisdictions for construction, improvement, or renovation projects to improve library facilities and accessibility. Larger projects will require a predesign approval in advance of the deadline date. Funding may be requested to remove architectural barriers, expand or renovate existing buildings, construct new library facilities, or remediate conditions hazardous to health or safety.
Accessibility Grants are for projects that remove architectural barriers from a building or site that is already in use as a library or from an existing building that will be used as a library.
Renovation of an existing building may include an addition to the building if the additional space is necessary to provide accessibility, or if relocating public spaces to the ground level would provide improved overall accessibility.
Improvement Grants are for projects that renovate or expand an existing building or construct a new building. Renovation may include projects that remediate conditions that are hazardous to health or safety.
Sample Grant Projects:
Accessibility Grant: An accessibility grant was used to install automatic power doors in the library entrance, install grab bars and accessible height toilets in the restrooms, add signage and contrasting/tactile lettering for restrooms and exits, and ensure their parking lot striping conforms to current code.
Improvement Grant: An improvement grant was used to support building the library portion of a joint public library and city hall. The new library, which is fully ADA compliant, provides more space for collections and programs than was available in the previous location. The new building incorporates many sustainable design features like daylight harvesting (electric lighting that adjusts with changing amounts of natural light) and programmable energy efficient HVAC systems, and complies with state and federal statutes and guidelines relating to accessibility by persons with disabilities.
GrantWatch ID#: 146710
Accessibility Grants: The maximum grant award possible is $200,000, or 50% of approved project costs, whichever is less.
Improvement Grants: The maximum award possible is $1,000,000, or 50% of approved project costs, whichever is less.
The grant period starts when the End Grant Agreement is fully executed and funds encumbered. The anticipated start date will be December 15, 2017. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2022.
Projects may not have started prior to the enactment of the 2017 bonding bill, which was May 30, 2017. A project is considered started when ground has been broken. The Minnesota Department of Education will not reimburse any costs incurred prior to execution of the End Grant Agreement.
Regional public library systems, regional library districts, cities or counties operating libraries under Minnesota Statutes, section 134.001 are eligible to apply. Applicants will need to confirm that the city/county has title to the site and building where the library is or will be located.
Applications for improvement grants with total costs of $1,500,000 or greater must confirm that they sent their plan to the Department of Administration prior to submitting to the Department of Education.
While two types of grants are available, all projects must comply with Minnesota state building code regulations on accessibility, unless the Americans with Disabilities Act 2010 Design Standards require a higher standard for accessibility. In addition, projects must comply with related Minnesota state statutes and/or Americans with Disabilities Act Title II requirements, whichever requires the higher standard.
Accessibility Grants may not be used to pay part of the cost of meeting accessibility requirements in a newly constructed building.
An informational webinar will be scheduled shortly and will be announced via the SLS listserv. Subscribe to the listserv for the most up-to-date information:
Both Accessibility and Improvement grants require a dollar for dollar local match from non-state funds. Eligible matching funds include cash, non-state governmental appropriation, negotiable and nonnegotiable securities, bonds sold or validated. State funds may not be used as matching funds. All funds, including local matching and donated funds must be administered by the grant recipient.
Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.335 requires projects with a construction cost of $1,500,000 or more to submit a predesign package to the Minnesota Department of Administration, which will review and make a recommendation within ten business days. (Not receiving a response to your submission within 10 days is considered a positive recommendation.)
Written questions (first question and answer document): Questions must be submitted to the program contact through email by Monday, August 14, 2017, at 4:30 PM, Central Time. A question and answer document will be published on the grant opportunity site after Thursday, August 17, 2017.
Written questions (second question and answer document): Questions must be submitted to the program contact through email by Monday, September 11, 2017, at 4:30 PM, Central Time. A question and answer document will be published on the grant opportunity site after Thursday, September 14, 2017.
Library construction grant applications must be submitted via email by Friday, September 29, 2017, 3:30 PM, Central Time.
Application forms and instructions are available on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Grants Management site:
The RFP may be found here:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.