About the Colony

Atascadero library fundraiser needs one last boost

Lon Allan
Lon Allan

My hat is off to Friends of the Atascadero Library, which has been working so hard to raise the $2 million needed to create a brand-new branch of the county library here. That’s the share of the total cost the local library supporters need to raise.

According to a news release from Eileen O’Grady, fundraising coordinator for the group, they are very, very close.

They are so close, in fact, that time is becoming critical in order for the library to be open and dedicated during Atascadero’s centennial celebration, which has been scheduled for the third week of October 2013.

According to O’Grady, the county Board of Supervisors will vote Dec. 11 on whether to begin the bidding phase for the library’s interior construction. As you know, the outside is virtually completed, thanks to a wise purchase by the county early this year.

Once the bids are returned by January’s deadline, the county will require that it have all the funds needed for the project. Currently, Friends of the Atascadero Library must come up with $123,000, which is 6 percent of the $2 million.

If the fundraising is finished by January, O’Grady said, construction is likely to begin in early March. That would provide adequate time to get the new library open late in 2013 and be included in a number of dedication ceremonies that include the City Administration Building, the return of the statue to the Sunken Gardens and the new lakeside bandstand.

Those who give at least $1,000 will receive permanent recognition in the library for themselves or a loved one. Hundreds of Atascaderans have already donated $1,000 or more to the fundraising effort over the past couple of years. In addition, there are some areas within the new library that could bear a donor’s name for an adequate amount of money, such as the teen area, technology center or the circulation area.

Friends of the Atascadero Library will once again produce its lively “Dancing With Our Stars” in March, which last year generated approximately $50,000.

As you can see, we don’t have that far to go, folks. O’Grady said if sufficient funds are not raised by the January date, less than two months away, construction will be delayed.

If you want to donate, contact Grenda Ernst at 466-3495 or mail your donation to Friends of the Atascadero Library, P.O. Box 9, Atascadero, 93423

Lon Allan's column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.