Kanawha County Public Library officials provided a year-end progress report on the planned building projects at a press conference held today at the Main Library.
Three recent leadership contributions helped the Open a Modern Classic capital campaign reach a milestone of $15 million, according to Tom Heywood, president, The Library Foundation of Kanawha County, Inc. Today, the following gifts were announced: ECA Foundation, $250,000; Verizon West Virginia, $500,000; and the Maier Foundation, $500,000. The private fund raising goal is set at $25 million and should be completed by this time next year.
Heywood also announced that the library board of directors will purchase another piece of property on the downtown site before the end of the month. The upcoming acquisition will make this the library's third piece of property to be secured for the new Main Library. The first piece of property was purchased by the Clay Foundation as part of its contribution to the project, and the second was purchased earlier this year by KCPL.
The overall building project also calls for major improvements to six of the nine county branch libraries, including a new 5,500 square foot building in Marmet, which will replace the existing 429 square foot building. Heywood announced today that the Town of Marmet has donated a site of nearly one acre for the new library, located on MacCorkle Avenue next to the elementary school.
"We are extremely grateful for all of the support that we have received during the past year from many individuals and organizations who have given so generously. Our board members and volunteers have also worked very hard to help the library reach important milestones with this project, and they deserve tremendous credit for moving our project forward. I am very pleased with the progress we are making, and looking forward to an even more exciting year ahead," said Alan Engelbert, director, Kanawha County Public Library.
The total project is expected to cost approximately $50 million, which includes site acquisition, construction and other expenses for the Main Library, and for branch improvements throughout Kanawha County. In addition to the Main Library and the Marmet branch, the board also intends to pursue a new facility for the Elk Valley area, 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. The project should be completed in five to seven years.