Stanford library offered land

May 04, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - The land-locked Harvey Helm Memorial Library could find a little more breathing room in a future downtown home thanks to an offer of land, said board members after Monday's meeting. Monday's proposed gift of almost two acres on Lancaster Street was made by First Southern National Bank President Jess Correll and his wife Angela, the bank itself and an anonymous third party.

A smaller lot at that location had been offered to the board late last year but was declined because of its restrictive size.

The expanded offer being considered by the board would give the library ample parking and room to grow, said library board president Betty Simpson. "We had a man from Frankfort come down and he said it was adequate," said Simpson. "It's less than two acres, yet the way it's laid out he said it was suitable."

The property is located behind First Southern National Bank near the library's current home, a downtown location many community members said they wanted to keep. Simpson said she had received many letters questioning the board's original decline of the smaller lot. Without the addition of joining property recently bought by the bank, the first offered lot would not have allowed the library to grow, said Simpson. But with added acreage, it looks to be well suited to for the library's needs.


"It's accessible, it's close to the courthouse, it's downtown," said Simpson. "We needed to be close to the courthouse, one reason being genealogy."

With Lincoln County's well-preserved collection of historic records, people from around the country come to research family heritage each week said Simpson.

In addition to easing the task of genealogists, a library on Lancaster Street will keep downtown a destination, not a passing point said Simpson. "When you start moving things like that from downtown, it makes it hard for growth."

"It's part of our efforts to keep our downtown alive and vibrant," said Stanford Mayor Eddie Carter, who had encouraged the board to keep the county library near Main Street. "It would be just a big asset to keep our library downtown."

The board had discussed moving the library away from downtown in past meetings as the prospects of centralized locations appeared slim. The library board currently holds the options on two other possible properties, one located outside of the downtown area and the other outside city limits.

The new location is currently being considered by the board, which could hold a special meeting this month to discuss particulars of the land.

But there would have to be a good reason to refuse the lot, said Simpson. This gift of land is the marriage of ideal location and ideal price. "I don't know what the cost of a new building will be, but just getting this land will be a big chunk out of it (the cost)," said Simpson.

Jess Correll said the cost was worth the revitalization and beautification of the community.

"We think the library is an important part of our community, and we not only want it to be accessible, we also wanted it to be in a location where we could show it off," said Correll. "... We'd love to have them as a neighbor."

Central Kentucky News Articles