Library to sell raffle tickets at Shippensburg Corn Festival

2012-08-18T21:23:00Z 2012-08-19T10:22:28Z Library to sell raffle tickets at Shippensburg Corn FestivalDebbie Chestnut, The Sentinel The Sentinel
August 18, 2012 9:23 pm  • 

Football fans will have a chance to win tickets to an Eagles-Steelers game and also support the Shippensburg Public Library when they visit the Corn Festival on Saturday, Aug. 25.

The raffle will benefit the library’s Capital Campaign for a renovation project that will nearly double the size of the existing building. Tickets will be available for purchase during the Corn Festival at a table in the front of the library.

First prize in the drawing will be three tickets to the Eagles-Steelers game Oct. 7 in Pittsburgh, along with three passes for access to the field prior to the game. Other prizes include two box seats for a choice of shows at the Luhrs Center at Shippensburg University, a round of golf for four at the Chambersburg Country Club and a $100 gift certificate to Knute’s Pub and Grill.

The drawing will be held Sept. 5; winners do not have to be in attendance. In addition to being sold at the Corn Festival, tickets will be available through Sept. 5 at the library, Shippensburg Chamber of Commerce, SU Alumni Office, East Meets West Emporium, Knute’s Pub and Grill, Goose Brothers Ice Cream, H and H Chevrolet and Kathy’s Deli and Biscotti. Cost is $25 for two tickets or $50 for five.

Jo Anne Coy, president of the library’s board of trustees, said that the raffle is a “potentially large fundraiser” that could be just what the library needs as it works to get the project under way.

The library’s renovation plans officially began when Himmel and Wilson, a library consulting firm, performed a study to assess the needs of the library.

“One of the main points was that unless we acquired adjacent property for parking, we should not stay where we are,” said Coy. She said that the library purchased the neighboring Freeman property “in order to keep staying here one of the viable options.”

“That property includes the Freeman medical building, which has been subdivided into several commercial spaces, and a number of residential spaces along King Street,” said Coy. “We (the library) formed Shippensburg Branch Creek Corp. to manage the property.”

An expansion committee later reviewed the option of relocating the library to another site but eventually recommended remaining at its current location in the Stewart House. Coy said that the recommendation came after the committee was unable to find suitable land to build a new library or a building to renovate, and because local residents wanted to keep the library in downtown Shippensburg.

Coy said that a feasibility study supported the library’s goal of raising $8.1 million to renovate the Stewart House — $6.6 million for an expansion to the existing building, $1 million to pay off the Freeman property and $500,000 to establish an endowment. The library then kicked off the quiet phase of its Capital Campaign, which included a $2 million Redevelopment and Capital Projects grant that was secured with assistance from Sen. Richard Alloway.

Since then, the campaign has been hampered by a slow economy and the long process of securing the proper permits, but Coy is optimistic that the library will be able to break ground next spring.

“While it (the economy) has been frustrating, we’re not totally discouraged because the majority of people want to give,” said Coy. “We’re convinced that it’s going to happen ... We are over halfway to the amount we need to do the actual building project ($6.6 million).

“The other thing is the permitting progress. The library property (now) straddles the (Branch) stream ... and that opens up a whole new set of challenges.”

The project includes renovations to the Stewart House, which will become the adult library area; construction of a two-story addition that will be the children’s area; and razing of the Freeman building to create additional parking.

There will be room for office space in both the adult and children’s sections, and a covered foot bridge will be constructed over the stream to connect the new parking area with the library.

Coy said that she is happy with the decision to keep the library in its current location.

“I personally feel that it would be detrimental to downtown Shippensburg if the downtown library vacated downtown, she said. “I think that once it’s done, we’re all going to be glad we stayed.”

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