EBENSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Cambria County Library has received a $364,100 state grant to help replace the HVAC system on the library’s third floor, Rep. Frank Burns (D-Cambria) announced.
The grant was awarded through a competitive process that involved projects across the Commonwealth, according to the state Department of Education, which administers the Keystone Grants for Public Library Facilities program.
“As someone who grew up in the area, I know how important of a community asset the Cambria County Library is,” Burns, who has championed childhood literacy by helping bring programs like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to the county, said. “Reading is an absolutely fundamental skill, and I will continue to work with our community partners to find the resources we need to promote literacy.”
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It’s reported Burns recently met with Library Board President Allen Metzler and Library Director Ashley Flynn about future plans for the Cambria County Library, including the HVAC upgrades this grant will help fund.
Burns said this funding was critical not just for the Johnstown branch, but for the Cambria County system since the state dollars would free up funding that could be used in other areas, like book purchases, programming or other valuable services.
Last year Burns and Saint Francis University celebrated the start of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Cambria County, which sends free books to children from birth to age 5 each month. Burns worked for more than a year to find funding for the project, eventually securing a state grant to help get the program off the ground.
Since taking office, Burns has reportedly helped secure more than $65 million in state and federal funding for education in Cambria County for everything from career development and technology to Pre-K and school safety planning.