We keep one eye on our email inbox every Thursday. That’s the day when Tiffany Meyer, Director of the Ellsworth Public Library, emails a fundraising update. We all did a collective “happy dance” when opening this week’s email and saw the total. We’ve surpassed our Phase 3 fundraising goal ($350,000) -- Our current in-hand fundraising total is $363,256.29!
Ellsworth and the surrounding communities, you all deserve a BIG “high-five”! Everyone has been overwhelmingly supportive. Donations from area businesses and individuals, along with grant awards and fundraising event proceeds got us to this point.
The Village of Ellsworth placed the $350,000 contingency on the project to ensure our commitment to fundraising. They didn’t set a deadline, but we did. We know the costs will only increase. To take advantage of the lowest interest rates, and ensure we have contractors lined up to begin the work this fall, we wanted to meet that obligation quickly. We set a goal of March 31, which was very aggressive. While it took us an extra couple of weeks to hit our goal, we’re still considering it a big win!
Now that we’ve achieved the Phase 3 goal, the Village can move forward on securing the remaining building financing and our building committee can begin seeking contractor bids and planning for basic renovations to begin this fall.
So what comes next, you ask?
We now begin Phase 4 of our fundraising plan. Our goal for this phase is $550,000. This amount represents the approximate difference between basic renovation to the building and the full renovation plan, which is what our community wants and needs. Our community and library staff deserve a completed project when the library opens its doors in its new location in 2022!
You’ll be happy to know we’re already well on our way to achieving this goal, too! This project has been in the planning stages for over 8 years and the library has been saving. The Library Board has earmarked a matured CD for this project. And, since we exceeded our Phase 3 goal, those additional funds can be rolled over, too.
We’re already up to $124,000 for Phase 4!
The grant application submissions continue, as do one-on-one meetings with area residents and business owners. We have some additional fundraising events planned for the coming months, too! So we hope you’ll stick with us and continue your enthusiastic support for this landmark project! This time next year we hope to be celebrating our new library space with a grand opening and you’re all invited!