November 16, 2006
At a news conference today, officials of The Library Foundation of Kanawha County, Inc. announced the first corporate gift to Kanawha County Public Library's building projects. The American Electric Power Foundation pledged $500,000 to the Open a Modern Classic capital campaign, which seeks to build a new Main Library and make improvements to six branches in the library system.
The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and AEP's utility units, including Appalachian Power. AEP is the parent company of Appalachian Power.
Dana Waldo, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer, made the announcement on behalf of the Foundation. "Today the AEP Foundation is making a major commitment to the future of West Virginia. There is no other project on the horizon that will better serve the citizens of our region than a new main library and its branch improvements," Waldo said.
"We are grateful to all of the people who are supporting the library's project in its early fund raising stage, and most appreciative that the American Electric Power Foundation views this project in the same way that our trustees and employees do," said Ginny George, campaign coordinator and volunteer for the project.
Waldo announced the gift on the same day Appalachian Power's employees celebrated Read to Me Day. As part of Read to Me Day, 171 employees read two books to approximately 13,000 students at 268 elementary schools across the state. They then donated the books to each school's library, for a total donation of 536 books. As part of today's announcement, Waldo made a ceremonial presentation of each of the two books to the children's collection at the Kanawha County Public Library.
The total library project is expected to cost approximately $50 million, which includes site acquisition, construction and other expenses for the Main Library, and $10 million for branch improvements throughout Kanawha County. Over the next several years, the board also intends to pursue new facilities for the Marmet and Elk Valley areas, renovations to the Dunbar and St. Albans libraries and expansions at the Cross Lanes and Sissonville branches.
As a part of the financing strategy, the Library Board intends to seek funding through a combination of city, county, state and federal funding, including a bond referendum, a very important phase of the project. Library officials anticipate that 50 percent of the money will come from public funding, and the balance will be raised from private sources. With this most recent donation, the total raised thus far is just over $9 million. The project should be completed in five to seven years.