Sunday, February 26, 2006

Allen Foundation Library Grant Challenge

COEUR d’ALENE – A $100,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for the new Coeur d’Alene Public Library is a challenge to the community to provide matching funds.
The grant to the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation comes with the condition that the community must match the gift by April 1, 2007. Construction of the new facility is scheduled to begin in May this year.

“We are thrilled to be given this recognition and support from such an internationally prominent and highly respected philanthropic organization,” said Ruth Pratt, Executive Director of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation. “It’s very gratifying to everyone who worked so diligently preparing the grant proposal, which we submitted last August. The process is highly competitive and rigorous, and the vast majority of requests are not even invited to submit full proposals. Elaine Smith, our shared grant-writer, was most influential in guiding us through the process and deserves the biggest share of credit for our success.

“This affirmation of the quality of our project is definitely a shot of adrenalin. It will help us complete our fund-raising efforts to build this most critical public resource for our rapidly growing community. We hope that individuals and businesses throughout our area will rise to the challenge that the Paul Allen Family Foundation has issued so that we can wrap up our capital campaign as soon as possible.”

The campaign cabinet meets every week to strategize and report on the progress of their ongoing efforts to raise the remainder of the private funds necessary to finish construction. Members of this team include Jim Elder, Denny Davis, Sandy Patano, Steve Wetzel, Mary Sanderson, Jon and Cyndi Hippler, LuAnn Ganz, Sally Dodge, Judi Messina, Bette Ammon, Bob Nonini and Pratt.

“This will be the most historically significant public building constructed in our lifetime, so it is a unique opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the values and opportunities that a great public library represents for current and future generations,” Pratt said. The cabinet and Library Foundation are trying to raise the remaining $1.4 million required to complete construction of the new 38,000-square-foot library.

Pratt said that since the final phase of the campaign began in January close to $600, 000 has been raised.

“Time is of the essence,” she said. “The City is committed to beginning the project in May to avoid additional escalation in construction costs. We are giving everyone the opportunity to pay their pledges over a five-year period to make their investment as affordable as possible.”

“Many of us have been working on the foundation board for more than 10 years to gain recognition and support for a new public library, she said. “We feel, as Andrew Carnegie said, that a ‘library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.’ We want to complete this most public of projects so that citizens of all ages in our area have free access to the wealth of treasures our new library will hold. It’s nice to know that the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation agrees.”

Through the “Leave a Legacy in the Library” campaign, individuals and businesses are being asked to make pledges for various naming opportunities in the new library. For information about donor opportunities, contact the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation at 208/665-0040, 424 E. Sherman Ave. The floor plans and other drawings of the new library can be seen at by clicking on the “Building Project” link.


KaleJ said...

hopefully the new library will be a library and not a museum or a big ego-driven monstrosity.

But having an "Executive Director of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation" kinda points to the latter.

Libraries are about books and information. All of which I can get at the current locations. Leave the marble floors and big glass to the ego monuments at city hall.

JBelle said...

hi Mike, Jim Elder huddled with my brother and we are going to participate in the bronze plaque, naming my parents. My mother was a long-time library trustee. I'm so glad Coeur d'Alene is doing this! Where is the new place going to be?

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