The Carnegie Center of Corbin, Inc. is taking the next step in turning the former Carnegie Library on Roy Kidd Ave. into multi-purpose building.
To achieve that goal, the non-profit group is asking each Corbin area resident to pledge at least $1 toward the project.
Diane Mitchell, a member of the Corporation board, said the estimated cost of repairs necessary to preserve the 103-year-old building is $250,000.
“For a building its age, it is actually in pretty good shape,” Mitchell said. “So it is worth doing something with.”
Mitchell said the first step is to stabilize the building by preserving the brick, roof and windows.
“We are looking into grants, but with grants you have to have matching funds and you have to prove that the community is behind the project and really wants the building,” Mitchell said.
In an effort to generate a sinking fund for the project, Mitchell said the group is asking Corbin and other area residents to pledge a minimum of $1 toward the effort.
With March being, “Women’s History Month,” Mitchell said the corporation is inviting donors to make their donations in honor or in memory of a woman who had a profound influence upon their life.
A record book of the donations, along with the name of the donor and the woman to be honored or memorialized, will be kept at the Carnegie Center.
“That would be a wonderful legacy to leave,” Mitchell said.
The Carnegie Center of Corbin is a 501©(3) organization, so donations are tax-deductible.
Mitchell said the Carnegie Library was built in Corbin because of the efforts of Ada Gray Gilliam, one of the charter members of the Corbin Women’s Improvement Club.
With no public library in Corbin, the club members began a letter writing campaign in an effort to secure a grant from the Carnegie Foundation to fund the construction of a Carnegie Library.
Andrew Carnegie, who made his fortune in the railroad and steel industries, was, at one time, the richest man in the world.
As part of his philanthropic work, Carnegie provided endowments for more than 2,500 public libraries in 10 countries.
When the letter writing failed to achieve results, Gilliam boarded a train for Washington, D.C. where she met with members of the Carnegie Group, convincing them to fund a library in Corbin.
More information about the organization and how to donate is available online at www.carnegiecenterofcorbin.org or on Facebook.
“We have done away with a lot of our historic buildings in Corbin,” Mitchell said. “This is about the only building left.”