Besore can now spread its wings with acquisition of vacant lot

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
A vacant lot next to the Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library has been acquired by the board. Officials said the purchase will “insure the future of the library”.

The Library Association has taken another major step in its $1.2 million Capital Campaign project, purchasing a vacant lot east of the Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library. The board had long had its eye on the site, which was owned by people in Chicago who had no ties to Greencastle.

“After much negotiating, this piece of property was purchased to insure the future of the library in years to come,” said campaign chair Patti Divelbiss. “This area can be used for increased parking, future expansion and outside green space for library programming.”

Association president Brittny Paci said everyone was excited with the accomplishment. The board would take time to decide the best way to use the space so no development was planned immediately.

Besore director Laura Bailee was pleased with the addition to the property.

“It creates some wonderful options. Parking has always been tight and now we can extend the lot.”

She also noted that the children’s librarian could use the area for outdoor programs, and that more activities could be held at the same time.

Divelbiss continued that contributions would be needed to put a plan into action for the ground, along with maintaining the expanded library facility in the final phase of the campaign. The major fund raiser for Besore, the Spring Fling at Green Grove Gardens, is now scheduled for next year, March 12, 2015.

“The board decided to make this a biennial event,” Divelbiss said. “By hosting it on an every other year schedule, it allows us to reorganize our committee and not take advantage of our sponsors. Our local restaurants, businesses and patrons have done an outstanding job and we hope to see that continue. The success of the Spring Fling has made a difference in the outcome of the campaign. Again, the capital campaign committee and library board would like to thank every one for donations, pledges, encouraging words and support during our capital campaign.”

The Phase I renovation and expansion of Besore was completed last summer. With community support of cash and pledges, just over $1 million was raised, which allowed new construction and improvements to heating, air conditioning, windows, carpet, ceilings, lighting, handicap accessible bathrooms and a lift. Programming continued and the number of library patrons increased.