Group reaches $500,000 library museum goal
Heidi Zemach | For the LOG
Seward City Council accepted a check for $500,000 that marks reaching the community-wide goal to complete funding for the new Seward Community Library Museum, slated to open in December. From left; Assistant City Manager Ron Long, City Manager Jim Hunt, Vice Mayor Jean Bardarson, Council Member Marianna Keil, Mayor David Seaward, Council Member Vanta Shafer, Council Member Bob Valdatta, Council Member Ristine Casagranda and Council Member Christy Terry.
The Seward Community Library Museum Building Committee fulfilled its pledge to raise a half-million dollars in the community when they delivered a check for $500,000 last week to Seward City Council members. Capping the successful 2-year fund raising campaign Be Part of the Heart, the check presentation put the final financial piece in place for the funding needed to complete the $10.4 million facility currently under construction.
Building committee members made the check presentation as part of the centennial celebration of Seward’s founding. A Seward centennial committee identified a new library 7 years ago as a fitting, 100-year tribute. Since that time, community volunteers worked hard to make the new library museum become a reality. The new facility will open this December.
Keith Campbell, chairman of the building committee, acknowledged the generosity of the Seward community as proof of the library’s popularity with the businesses and people in Seward. State funding and private endowments account for about 70 percent of the funding package needed for the project, while a city-wide general obligation bond and capital campaign provided the remaining 30 percent.
“In terms of what the community will gain in services and civic pride, I think this new library is a deal. I expect our entire downtown area to experience a new flourish when it opens in December,” said Campbell. “That opening day is going to be a proud one for all of us.”
Reaching the promised fund-raising goal is just part of the picture, said building committee Co-Chair Mary Tougas. Their work is not complete. A gala fund-raising dinner cruise is scheduled for June 15, and proceeds from the cruise will fund some things that were originally cut from the original building budget, like a flagpole, landscaping and more. “Plus, we have some additional unfunded display needs in the museum that would really enhance showing Seward’s history
“Our next focus is getting our entire community involved with the dedication ceremony in December,” said Tougas.