BUFFALO, NY-- A long-vacant library will soon be renovated into an Italian Cultural Center.

City and state leaders announced $300,000 in funding for the Italian Cultural Center, which is taking over the former North Park Library on Hertel Avenue.

The money will be used to remove lead and asbestos from the building, part of a million-dollar transformation that means a lot to Frank Giacobbe, of Centro Culturale Italiania di Buffalo, who's been pushing for this project for years.

"This building is yours. And we promise firmly that we here at CCI stand for service, not just for Italian Americans," says Giacobbe. "You don't have to be Italian American to enjoy art, to see art, paintings or music or good food. You don't have to be Italian American. Join us. We welcome you."

The center is expected to open sometime next year.