Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Big boost for books

By MATT PHINNEY, mphinney@sastandardtimes.com or 659-8253
December 20, 2005

What a Christmas gift.

The San Angelo Health Foundation played Santa Claus on Monday, handing out about $2.6 million to 14 area nonprofit organizations. The Tom Green County Library got the lion's share receiving $1.75 million towards its move and renovations in the old Hemphill-Wells Building.

It's the largest single amount awarded by the foundation, said Larry Justiss, library administrator. County and city leaders made the library grant announcement Monday in the old department store, at 29 W. Beauregard Ave.

''This is a story of change,'' said Howard Taylor, director of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. ''The downtown group is active in the positive things that are happening. This is very symbolic of where the community is going.''

The grant pushes the money available for the library move to $8.7 million, including the value of the building. The total bill is estimated to be $16.5 million.

Trying to protect taxpayers' dollars, an independent committee has until Dec. 31, 2010 - the deadline to open the library under the lease agreement - to raise the needed money.

The San Angelo Area Foundation is the administrator for the ''Beacon to the Future'' fund, which will be spent paying for the move and renovations. The foundation is accepting donations for the fund.

Monday's grants represent the foundation's most-significant commitment in total dollars and number of awards in one quarter. It's the foundation's ninth year of awarding grants. The foundation has given more than $24 million to more than 130 organizations and 288 projects.

Justiss also announced David Price of Burnet has been hired as consultant for the project. Price has been a library consultant since 1969, with jobs including California's state library system, and county and city libraries in Austin and Fort Worth.

''There are some empty, gaping holes in downtown,'' Taylor said. ''This will help fuel a dynamic infusion of life in downtown.''

Thursday, December 15, 2005


The Tom Green County Commissioners Court officially approved the creation of the “Beacon of the Future Fund” at today’s meeting. The County has agreed to use the San Angelo Area Foundation as the Fund Administrator following approval of the County Auditor and County Treasurer. The Foundation will be responsible for accepting, booking, and receipting all donations and grants towards this fund. The County and the Foundation are both excited to be working together for the creation of the new Tom Green County Library in the former Hemphill-Wells building.

The Foundation will officially begin accepting donations towards the capital campaign, today. The Foundation will also manage the permanent endowment fund that will provide operational assistance for the new library. Donors wanting to donate to the capital campaign can make their checks payable to the San Angelo Area Foundation and note the Beacon of the Future Fund in the memo line of their check and mail it to the Foundation at their offices: 2201 Sherwood Way, Suite 205, San Angelo, Texas 76901 The Foundation can also accept gifts of publicly traded stock towards this fund. For more information about making a gift to the capital campaign, call the Foundation office at 947-7071. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law and donations made prior to December 31, 2005 are eligible for a tax deduction in the 2005 tax year.

Pollyanna and Steve Stephens have pledged 2 million dollars towards the renovation project and plan to begin official fundraising efforts in January 2006. When accounting for the value of Hemphill-Wells Building, funds on hand and the Stephens pledge, the campaign will need to raise an additional 9.5 million dollars. “We are truly getting closer to seeing the new library become a reality. We are excited about today’s action and look forward to watching the money come in.” said Larry Justiss, library administrator.



Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Computer Classes for December

There will be no computer classes held in the Tom Green County Library for the month of December. The schedule for January will be posted in late December.