News Release - Renovations and Restoration Begin at Rundel Memorial Building

City of Rochester

Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County

Friends and Foundation of the Rochester Public Library

News Release

CONTACT:  Ned Davis
Executive Director, FFRPL

Rochester, New York, June 22, 2016 —The Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library (FFRPL) today kicked off the public phase of its $1.4 million capital campaign to renovate and restore the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. To date, the FFRPL has raised nearly $1 million towards its goal.

Since 2011, Library staff and trustees have undertaken a reorganization of Central Library operations to address changes in library use, technology and staffing over the last several decades.  In 2012 the Rochester Public Library completed a Master Space Plan for a multi-phase relocation and renovation of both Central Library buildings. Total improvements and construction costs are estimated at $3.4 million, which is to be shared among City, County, State and private funding. The first phase of the plan, completed in 2014, consolidated audiovisual materials to the first floor of the Bausch & Lomb Library Building, where patrons enjoy electronic and traditional media collections as well as new technology devices.

Phases 2 and 3 of the plan, beginning today, include the relocation of the Central Library’s Arts Division to the first floor of the Rundel Library Building, with renovations and restorations to the Rundel entrance and main floor known as Hacker Hall. Renovations include creation of exhibit spaces, public meeting and programming spaces and improved lighting. This phase also includes relocation of the Central Library’s Teen Center to the second floor of the B&L Library Building, which will feature improved space for ImagineYOU, a digital learning lab for teens initially funded from a MacArthur Foundation/Institute of Museum and Library Services grant. Construction on Phases 2 and 3 should be completed in January 2017. In addition to the cultural and aesthetic improvements, operational changes will allow for more flexible staff coverage, enabling new evening hours at the Central Library in 2017.

“We’re excited to begin this phase of improvements at the Central Library which will help us ensure that this cultural center, with improved functionality, will continue to be a central place for learning and creativity for years to come,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “The Central Library greatly enhances the quality of life in Rochester, bolstering our efforts to create safer, more vibrant neighborhoods, more jobs and better educational opportunities for our children.

“We are grateful for the support of the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library as well as the donors and stakeholders who work tirelessly to ensure that Central Library continues to be a resource for our community.”

RPL Director Patricia Uttaro said, “We had several goals when undertaking this Plan. The first was to better serve our mission of promoting lifelong learning to the community; the second was to increase library outreach to new and underserved audiences; and the third was to be an active contributor, both economically and culturally, to the vitality of the Rochester region. I’m confident the RPL and FFRPL can achieve these goals with the support of donors and stakeholders who share our vision for a vibrant future for Rochester.”

FFRPL Board President David Hou said, “I’m so pleased with the success of the FFRPL’s capital campaign, as the FFRPL supports the RPL on this historic occasion with the commencement of the next Phases. We are about to see fantastic improvements to the RPL that solidify and elevate the Library’s place as a cultural center for our community, and it could not have been accomplished without the support of our donors and Library lovers.”

To support the renovations, the FFRPL initiated a capital campaign, From Collections to Community, recognizing the RPL and FFRPL’s potential to host larger events and exhibitions and to broaden its mission-based educational programs. The completion of the plan enables the Central Library to anchor Rochester’s downtown as a cultural destination in the Finger Lakes region. Leading sponsorships of the FFRPL’s campaign were secured from the Reynolds Charitable Foundation, the Riedman Foundation and the Chester & Dorris Carlson Charitable Trust, Robert & Georgianna Becker, Sharon & Ronald Salluzzo, Bruce & Marcia Bates and John & Barbara Lovenheim, and the Estate of Anthony Mascioli. Community donations to the Library Capital Campaign to help meet the fundraising goals of $400,000 to complete the plan may be mailed to the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library at 115 South Ave., Rochester, NY 14604 or online at

The Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County comprises two buildings: the original Rundel Memorial Building (1936) and the Bausch & Lomb Library Building (1997). It functions as the hub of the Monroe County Library System (MCLS), providing services to 10 Rochester Public Library city branch libraries and 19 town libraries throughout the county. Funding for operations comes from the County of Monroe, the City of Rochester, state aid and member library contributions.

The Central Library provides a shared library catalog, book delivery services, books, movies and music, access to documents, patent research, job information and genealogy centers, public computers, free wifi, training and meeting spaces, two auditoriums and a café. Yearly visits to the Central Library total nearly 650,000.