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Construction: Application Components

A guide to the New York State Public Library Construction Aid Program

Application Components

Each Construction Aid application requires to completion and submission of several components.

Some components are are only required by specific circumstances.  Some components can be completed online in the portal, some ,ust be printed, completed, signed, and uploaded as attachments.

Check the boxes below for more information on each of the application components.

Information on the requirements of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) can be found on a separate tab.

Forms to Submit

FS-10 - After the application form is completed, print 3 copies of the FS-10 form.  THEY WILL BE MOSTLY BLANK.

Sign all three copies in  BLUE ink.

Payee Form -  Print and sign one copy in   BLUE ink - 

You will need a NYS vendor number for the payee form. Julia Maxwell at the New York State Library will help complete the process for receiving an NYS vendor number. She can be contacted via e-mail or by calling 518-474-4734

Applicants must have an Employer ID Number (EIN) that is different from their municipality. To apply for an EIN contact the IRS

Substitute W-9Print and sign.


The above forms should be submitted to 4CLS, by mail, or through delivery. Do not send these forms to Albany.

Application Form

Complete the Application Form in the portal.

You will be asked for information about the library and the project including:

  • Building address
  • Square footage
  • Date of construction and/or major renovation
  • Ownership status
  • Project Contacts
    • List Library Director and at least one other person 
  • Estimated Project Cost
  • Timeframe  - estimated begin and end dates
    • Projects cannot start before July 1 of the application year
    • Projects cannot be completed before October of the application year

Additional Funding Sources

Complete this portion in the portal.

Designate the source and amount of the local matching funds.

Source options include: library operating funds, foundation grants, fundraising, etc.

Multiple sources can be listed.

The total additional funds + the total award requested must equal the total project cost.

SAM funds (State and Municipal Facilities Program) may not be used as matching funds,


Most project expenses fall under the contracted services category- roughly whenever a library pays someone to do something.

Complete a budget line for each contractor.  Combine services to be carried out by a single contractor into one line.

Supplies and equipment are items purchased directly by the library. The Equipment section is for items with a unit cost of $5000 or more.

Combine supplies to be purchased from a single vendor into one line.

Make sure there is an attached estimate for each budget line.

Certification of Available Funds

A document must be uploaded to the portal as an attachment.

Attach documentation that asserts that the library has the means to supply the funds specified in the Additional Funding Sources section.

The state prefers a financial statement, but will accept a signed letter from the treasurer certifying that the funds are available.

Project Cost Estimate

Upload to the portal estimates from contractors for each part of the project.  Estimates from architects are not accepted.

Libraries are not bound to use the contractors that submit the estimates.  The estimates serve only to set the cost of the described work.


Environmental Assessment Forms

Most libraries need only complete the Short Environmental Assessment Form (SEAF).  If, after completing the SEAF, it appears that the project could adversely impact the environment, the Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF) must be completed.

Environmental assessment forms must be completed, printed, signed, and uploaded to the portal as attachments.

The Short Environmental Assessment Form includes 3 parts:

To aid in completion of the forms, the NYSDEC has developed a workbook and an EAF Mapper 

For more information, check this FAQ

Smart Growth Form

All applicants must certify that their proposed projects are in compliance with the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, which became law in 2010.

The Smart Growth Form must be printed, completed, signed, and uploaded as an attachment.

For most libraries, the first option on the form is applicable:

"to advance projects for the use, maintenance or improvement of existing infrastructure;"

Check any others that apply.


Each project application must include an Assurance form, signed by the Board President, and approved at a Board meeting.

Through the Assurance form, you library pledges that:

  • it has the legal authority to submit the application, and that the designated project manager is an official representative of the library
  • the project will begin within 180 days of official notification of an award
  • the project will be conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations
  • the building is owned by the library or school district and will be open to the public OR there is a minimum 10 years lease (or other agreement) in place
  • no State and Municipalities Program (SAM) funding is used as a local match
  • Funds will not be spent on ineligible activities

If your project involves the acquisition of real estate, the library pledges that:

  • the property will be acquired at or below fair market value
  • the purchase price was derived through bona fide negotiations and approved by the library board upon the advice of persons familiar with the suitability of the purchase price
  • construction funds will not be used to make payments to board members or their immediate family
  • a certified appraisal was conducted if the purchase price was over $150,000

NYS Library Webinar (2024)

Project Narrative

The Narrative section includes five components.  You may find it easier to compose the narratives in Word and paste them into the portal.  There are separate character limits for each component.

Project Abstract

A brief description of the project with a maximum of 150 characters (including spaces)

Example: Replace HVAC system for greater energy efficiency and temperature control.

NOTE: The project abstracts will be used to brief legislators on projects and for press releases.

Description of Project

Provide a full description of the project.  If the project is part of a large project, briefly describe the large project and more specifically detail the work to be completed under this program. How will the building be altered?  What will be the end result?

Impact of Project

In this section, make the case for how your project fits into the established program priorities:

  1. Increased effectiveness of library service due to increased and/or improved building space and capacity;
  2. More efficient utilization of the library building resulting in such economies as energy conservation and increased staff efficiency (Libraries and library systems are encouraged to support “green” projects that may result in buildings eligible for LEEDS certification);
  3. Improved access to and use of building services by all library users, including those with physical disabilities; and
  4. Provision of library services to geographically isolated or economically disadvantaged communities.


Indicate the projected beginning date for the project; the duration of the proposed construction/renovation, and the projected beginning and ending dates for all contractual services; and schedules for all other significant activities impacting the project. The timetable should list all related project activities taking place during the award funding period, broken down by year, if applicable.

Remember that the project cannot begin before July 1 of the application year, and must not be completed before October of the application year.

Budget Narrative

For each entry in the budget section, provide a short description of the work and the dollar cost. Also identify which costs will be covered by your local match..

Certificate of Occupancy

If the project requires that a local “Certificate of Occupancy” be obtained at the completion of the project, a copy of the certificate must be scanned and attached as part of the Final Project Completion activities. Note: the library cannot receive final payment until all of the required Final Project Completion activities are complete.

Examples of when a “Certificate of Occupancy” is typically required include: New Building Construction; Construction or renovation that significantly changes the current or intended use of library space. For example, a space that is currently used for offices or storage and is converted to public use space would possibly require a certificate of occupancy. Be sure to consult and follow local government laws as they apply to certificates of occupancy to ensure compliance.

Certification of Minimum 10 Year Lease

If the building is not owned by the library, a certification of a minimum 10-year lease or occupancy agreement must be uploaded as an attachment.

If a library does not have a formal lease or legal agreement with the building's owner, a signed document from the owner specifying that the library may stay in the location for at least 10 years after the completion of the project may be used.

Pre-Project Photos

Attach one ore more photographs to the application that help demonstrate the need for the project.

Multiple photos can be added to a single Word document and uploaded.

Municipal Consent for Site/Building Acquisition Projects

If a library is purchasing property (vacant land or a building), then provide documentation from the local municipality that the proposed use of the site/building that is being acquired is allowable according to local land use.

SED OFP Approval (Only if Building is Owned by School)

If a library building is owned by a school district and the submitted project is more than $10K, the library must get approval from the New York State Education Department's Office of Facilities Planning (OFP)

That approval must be uploaded to the portal as an attachment.

Questions regarding the OFP approval process should be directed to OFP at 518-474-3906. Calls will be directed to the appropriate Project Manager for the school district in which the library building is located.