Thanks to another anonymous and extremely generous donor, the Payson Public Library's support organization, Library Friends, has reached its donation goal of $100,000.
Earlier this year, another donor offered to match all funds raised by Library Friends up to the amount of $100,000, with a deadline of Dec. 31. That puts the current grand total at $200,000.
"Just last week, we had made it to a little over $80,000," Judy Buettner, president of Library Friends, said. "This new donation of $20,000 puts us right where we hoped to get. It's really exciting, because we really didn't think we were going to make the $100,000."
Succeeding in that effort, Buettner said, means that "we can now furnish the library very, very well. We're looking forward to buying computers and desks and shelves."
As it turns out, the Library Friends' fund-raising achievement is not the only goal the organization has met. They are finally able to announce the time and date of the groundbreaking ceremony for the town's brand, spanking new literary palace to be built in Rumsey Park, right off McLane Road: at high noon on Thursday, January 11. "There will be a program, and we're urging everyone to come," Buettner said.
Almost one month ago, Amon Builders of Payson was named general contractor for the new library with a base bid of $1,720,822 well under the architect's estimate of $2,136,254. The company's experience in the Payson area includes serving as general contractor on the new police facility, Chapman Auto Center, Ponderosa Village Shopping Center and St. Philip's Church.
The new 15,765-square-foot library will be located in Rumsey Park. The current library, which occupies about 8,000 square feet, has been located in the Womans Club building on Main Street since 1951.
The digging will begin soon after groundbreaking, Buettner said, "And I believe the building will be ready for occupancy by September."
In the face of all this good fortune, there is one thing Buettner wants to make perfectly clear:
"Just because we've reached our fund-raising goal does not mean we are no longer accepting donations," she said. "We continue to buy things for the library that the town and county don't. Also, we're going to keep on fund raising because the design of the library is such that we can add three additions onto it. So we'll keep raising money to do one at a time."
To make a donation to Library Friends, contact Library Friends of Payson, Box 13, Payson AZ 85547, or call Judy Buettner at 472-9015.