Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
Grants to Minnesota public library systems and local governments to renovate, construct, or improve facilities for the purpose of increasing accessibility. Applicants requesting support for larger scale projects must submit their project plan in advance of the application.
Library Construction Grants support library renovation or construction projects that improve library accessibility for people with disabilities, address changing community or space needs, build a new building and/or remove conditions hazardous to health or safety. The program is authorized by Minnesota Statutes, section 134.45 and is administered by the Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services Division. Grant applicants may ask for guidance from the State Library Program Specialist on application and program guidelines.
Projects may remove architectural barriers from a library building or site, remediate conditions hazardous to health or safety, renovate or expand an existing building for use as a library, or construct a new library. Refer to the Library Construction statute.
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.
Types of Grants:
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.
Accessibility grants may not be used to pay part of the cost of meeting accessibility requirements in a newly constructed building.
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.
Criteria Used to Rank Proposals:
Grant applications that are submitted by eligible entities will be reviewed by a panel that assesses applications to determine fit with the statutory criteria listed below. Additional feedback will be provided by a representative from the Minnesota State Council on Disability after examining all applications. If the total amount requested exceeds the amount of funding available, the commissioner will award grants according to the commissioner’s judgment and discretion based on ranking of projects according to the criteria below. All decisions are final.
Minnesota Statutes, section 134.45, subdivision 6 lists the following criteria for ranking proposals:
-Need for funding
-Suitability of project
-Degree of collaboration with other public or private agencies
-Long-term feasibility of the project
-Public library jurisdiction's tax burden*
*State Library Services determines an applicant’s tax burden using a process described in the Tax Burden Section below.
GrantWatch ID#: 146710
Accessibility Grants: The maximum grant award possible is $200,000, or 50 percent of approved project costs, whichever is less.
Improvement Grants: The maximum award possible usually is $1,000,000, or 50 percent of approved project costs, whichever is less. Since the available funds are less than $1,000,000, the maximum award is approximately $838,000.
The grant period starts when the End Grant Agreement is fully executed and funds encumbered. It is anticipated that the start date will be July 1, 2018. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2022.
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 under Minnesota Statutes, section 134.001 are eligible to apply.
Applicants must confirm that the city or county has title to the site and building where the library is or will be located. Applicants selected must provide documentation related to the matching dollar obligation.
A webinar with program information and opportunities to ask questions will be held on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.
Further information on how to participate in the webinar is forthcoming and will be disseminated through the State Library Services listserv and the first published question and answer document.
Please let the program contact know if you would like to receive email updates about the webinar.
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.
Applications with total costs of $1,500,000 or more must submit their plan to the Department of Administration prior to application submission to MDE.
First question and answer document: Questions must be submitted to the program contact through email by Monday, February 12, 2018, at 4:30 PM, Central Time. A question and answer document will be published on the grant opportunity site after Thursday, February 15, 2018.
Second question and answer document: Questions must be submitted to the program contact through email by Monday, March 5, 2018, at 4:30 PM, Central Time. A question and answer document will be published on the grant opportunity site after Thursday, March 8, 2018.
Library construction grant applications must be submitted via email by Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 3:30 PM, Central Time.