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Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund

Grants for Public Library Facilities

The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund was established by an act of the General Assembly in 1993. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Bureau of Library Development, administers the public library portion of this program which is funded from a portion of realty transfer taxes.

Grants pay up to 50 percent of eligible costs to plan, acquire, construct, or rehabilitate public library facilities. Examples of fundable projects include, but are not limited to: ADA upgrades, new roof, replacement windows, energy efficient upgrades to HVAC systems, facility expansion and new construction.

Keystone grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar.  Matching funds may include cash and in-kind contributions, federal funds, and other state funds.

Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.  PDE Uses grant award criteria (e.g. need, funding priorities, etc.) to evaluate and score applications.

To apply, a sponsoring municipality and the board of the state-aided library must submit an application jointly that is developed cooperatively and signed by both governing bodies. 

For inquiries regarding the Keystone grant program, contact Ed Lupico, Keystone Grants Administrator, 717-783-5747 or ra-keystone@pa.gov

Getting Ready to Apply for a Keystone Grant

  1. If you intend to apply for a Keystone grant, the Get Ready to Apply page provides the steps required in order to complete and submit an application when the grant round opens. It is suggested that applicants complete these steps as soon as possible in advance of the grant round. Each step may be completed with no commitment to submitting a Keystone application if your plans change.
  2. If you intend to apply for a Keystone grant in the upcoming 2021 grant round, please send an email as soon as possible to RA-Keystone@pa.gov containing:
    • the name, address, and contact person of the Library that will be applying;
    • the location of the library site at which the Keystone project will take place (if different);
    • the name, address, and contact person of the Municipality which will be submitting the application;
    • the approximate grant amount you plan to request (your best estimate at this time);
    • the subject line of the email reading: Keystone 2021 Letter of Interest.

This email will assist the Office of Commonwealth Libraries in planning the grant round and is entirely non-binding. You are not obligated in any way to submit an application, and you may change any information provided, including the amount requested, if you do submit an application.

2021 Keystone Grant Cycle

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries expects to open a Keystone application round on July 26, 2021. In order to access the application, it is necessary to obtain an Auxiliary Unit Number (AUN) for the municipality submitting the application. Instructions may be found in the Getting Ready to Apply link above.

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