Volunteers and prison laborers will soon help prepare the old Kroger building for its transformation to the new Athens-Limestone County Public Library.
Meanwhile, local business owners now have a chance to get in on the action and increase sales.
Former County Commission Chairman David Seibert took members of the Library Foundation board on a tour of the empty Kroger building on Jefferson Street in Athens last week. There, he explained how, under his supervision, the laborers would clean the building, deconstruct it and prepare it for new construction. The city has already approved a contract with CMH Architects to design the renovation.
“Lots of planning has been taking place, but this is the first time we are really ready to do something the public can see,” Consultant Debbie Joyner said.
Meanwhile, fundraising efforts have already raised more than $5 million for the project. That includes more than $1.1 million from the city of Athens; $1.1 million from Limestone County; $3 million in cash, pledges, grants and trusts from the Library Foundation; and $3,151 in interest for a total of $5,016,930, according to Joyner’s figures.
“We are so pleased so many people from so many areas from Athens have wanted to participate in the fundraising effort,” Joyner said.
How businesses can help, benefit
The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce unveiled a plan Monday that will also give local businesses the opportunity to participate in the campaign.
Suggested by Shannon Bryant, owner of Pimentos, the “Local Businesses for Books” program would allow local business owners to drive people to their places of business while raising money for the new library. Here’s how it works:
• A business owner decides when he or she would like to “drive” traffic to their place of business;
• The owner decides whether to give a set amount per transaction or a percentage of sales to the library for a specific time period…
• The owner completes an application form, which is submitted to the library;
• Once the application is approved, the library helps publicize the promotion on the library’s website, Facebook page and by providing a reproducible flyer;
• Within 10 days of the completion of the promotion, the business owner makes a tax-deductible contribution to the Library Foundation for the agreed amount;
• The business owner increases traffic and receives a receipt for a tax-deductible contribution.
Bryant said local business owners are often asked to contribute items to support local non-profit organizations but, “This plan is a way to provide benefits to the participating business while supporting the effort to build a new library.”
For more information about the library project, call Joyner at 256-655-6690 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about “Local Businesses for Books,” call Shannon Bryant 256-777-0657 or Gina Garth at 256-206-5583 or send email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org