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Publish Date: 3/5/2005

Museum receives $1M gift
Donation half of anonymous promise


LONGMONT — The second half of a promised $2 million donation has been turned over to the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center.

In 2000, a donor who requested anonymity gave $1 million to help with the $6 million cost of building the new museum on Quail Road just east of U.S. Highway 287. At the time, the donor promised a second $1 million.

The anonymous donor recently presented the museum with a check for that amount, according to director Martha Clevenger.

“In 2001, the donor indicated that they would like to see the second $1 million applied to the construction of an auditorium addition,” Clevenger said.

She wouldn’t budge on revealing the name, hometown or even gender of the donor, but Clevenger was obviously pleased to have the funding to provide a larger gathering space for museum-goers and the community.

“Of course we’re delighted to receive this kind of a gift,” she said. “We appreciate the faith and support and belief in what the museum is able to do for the community.”

The gift is 35 percent larger than the museum’s entire operating budget for 2005, which is approximately $740,000, Clevenger said.

The museum currently uses a classroom, which seats about 65 comfortably, to host special programs. Clevenger said the auditorium that will be built with the new funding would be larger than that but not as large as the Longmont Performing Arts Center, which seats approximately 300.

The Longmont City Council effectively serves as the museum’s board of directors, and it will decide how to proceed with the funding, according to city community services director Karen Roney.

“We’re going to City Council on the 15th of March and presenting this formally, talking about the donation and discussing the process of how we move forward,” Roney said.

Clevenger said planning discussions for the new auditorium will revolve around three main issues: what kind of auditorium it should be, what would bring the best value to the community and, of course, how much it would cost.

The auditorium will be east of the lobby, next to the entrance drive for the museum and the Longmont Recreation Center.

“(The museum) was built with the ability for additions to be made to it,” Clevenger said.

Founded in 1936, the Longmont Museum moved to its current location in 2002.

Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-684-5291, or by e-mail at tkindelspire@times-call.com.

 

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