The Logan County Pubic Library got word almost a year ago they were recipients of a $500,000 Carpenter Foundation grant. The monies are to be used in the construction of a new library located on Armory Drive in Russellville. Monday morning members of the library were presented with the actual check for a half a million dollars by Jim Guthrie of the ER Carpenter Company.
“We are glad to be helping the library and the people of this community,” said Guthrie.
Construction of the new library has already begun and it is due in part because of this grant, said library board president Obie VanCleave.
“We are thankful to be partnering with the ER Carpenter Company and we are very thankful to have received the Carpenter Foundation Grants, which have helped make the new library become a reality. I cannot say enough about ER Carpenter and all they do for this community. By awarding grants such as these, they are giving back to the community,” said VanCleave.
This is the second time the Foundation has found favor with the new library, having awarded $100,000 to the project a few years ago to help purchase property for the new facility.
“We are so grateful to the Carpenter Foundation for their support,” said library director Linda Kompanik. “We were concerned we might get passed up for the grant this time around, due to the controversy that occurred over the project.”
There has been some opposition to building a new library, with some being very vocal. The Logan County Fiscal Court expressed it’s concern about how the new facility would be paid for and worry was apparent over future library taxes. The library is a taxing district and receives funds each year from the citizenry of Logan County. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, Kompanik said the library brought in $1,026,324 in revenues.
The library board has also been very vocal itself saying they anticipate no increases in taxes to pay for the close to $3 million facility.
The new library is expected to be complete sometime this year. The library will be moving from its home on Sixth Street in Russellville to Armory Drive in the lot next to Save-A-Lot. The facility is approximately 14,000 square feet, one third larger than the old library. The layout of the new building is expected to be user friendly with more space for different programs and parking.
The idea of building a new library has been in the works for several years. The board of trustees have been collecting funds and applying for grants for some time now in hopes of having enough start-up money to begin.
Along with the million and a half received from the Carpenter Foundation, the board has secured $200,000 from a memorial contribution on behalf of Tilly Perry, $50,000 from a retired teacher, $5,000 from board president VanCleave, a $100 donation per month from an anonymous donor, and several donations from the public at large.
Bonds were sold Nov. 1, 2012, for $2,940,o00 at 3.3 percent with a payment of $152,000 annually for the next 30 years. Kompanik said the rate was low because of the library’s good credit rating of an A+ from Standard and Poor’s.