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Atkins Community Club contributes to new library/city hall

The Atkins Community Club presented a check to the city hall/library project this month. In front are Rich and Donna Scheer, Christy Damon, Ken Popenhagen, and Delores and Irvin Keiper. In back are Angela Gammill, Mike Wagner and Kevin Korsmo.

The Atkins Community Club has pledged $20,000 to help fund building a new library and city hall according to Atkins Library and City Hall Capital Campaign Chair Angela Gammill.

“We are delighted that the Atkins Community Club will give this generous financial support to the campaign,” said Capital Campaign Chair Angela Gammill. “Our campaign continues to move forward with approximately $750,000 raised. This gift of community support is appreciated.”

The Atkins Community Club conducts several annual activities for the benefit of the people of Atkins. Funds raised by the Community Club are given to Atkins for community improvements. The Community Club is a complete volunteer organization. It organizes community activities including the Atkins Watermelon Days, Halloween and Christmas Parties, and provides scholarships to graduating seniors.

The new Atkins Library will increase library space comparable to the size of peer Iowa community libraries. Currently, the Atkins Public Library is less than one half the size of the average library in peer Iowa communities. In addition, the new city hall will meet the needs of the fast growing community of Atkins. The community population has nearly doubled since 2000.

A new Atkins Library has been planned and worked on for many years. Community meetings began in 2002 to develop an Atkins Strategic Plan. Part of that plan was for a new library and city hall. In 2007, Atkins adopted a Comprehensive Community Plan identifying the need for a new library, city hall, community center, recreational facilities, and other community needs. Some recreational facilities have been added to Atkins over the last few years. “Part of our early plan included a new gymnasium with a walking track,” Gammill added. “This would be nice, but will have to be a Phase Two item unless enough funds are raised in the current fundraising campaign.”

“Our library has serious space needs,” said Atkins Library Director Cathy Becker. “The limited space prevents us from having some library programs many of our peer public libraries have. For example, we have had to limit our children’s reading program numbers because of space, we can’t host traveling authors due to our space limitations, and there are many more educational opportunities we could offer with extra space, such as tutoring, teen reading group, early childhood development, and much more,” Becker said.

“Campaign volunteers have done a lot of work on this library and city hall campaign,” Gammill said. “We plan to continue that campaign work as we move toward success and building this needed facility for the Atkins area,” Gammill said.

UPDATED June 15, 2010 9:45 AM

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