Montevallo breaks ground for new library

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Family and friends of the late Dr. C.L. &uot;Foots&uot; Parnell Jr. looked on with city and community leaders as ground was broken Monday for the new Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the 12,400 square foot facility to be completed in one year was held at the future site across from Montevallo Elementary School.

Music was provided by the Montevallo High School Band and colors were presented by the 187th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Unit from Montgomery.

According to Montevallo Mayor Sharon Anderson, the Montevallo library was first housed in a room at city hall when it opened in 1958. She said from there it was moved to the depot at Orr Park. And following a fire, it was moved back to city hall.

She said Dr. Parnell’s donations were responsible for the library being in its present location.

Next she said the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation was formed in 1998 and plans for the library were expanded to include a theater for community events and the new library site.

She said it took six years to get to this point.

Anderson said Davis Architects Inc. designed the new building which will be constructed by Jones/Williams Construction Company of Bessemer.

Bo Grisham, a member of the board of the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation and a Parnell family representative, said &uot;Foots&uot; loved books and the city of Montevallo.

Libbie Rogers, president of the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation, reported that $2.1 million of the cost of the library has been raised.

She recognized A.G. and Ann Kelly, honorary co-chairmen of the capital campaign fund; David Aiken, who provided fund-raising advice; the Montevallo Main Street Players who held two fund-raiser events; and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby who helped arrange for almost $400,000 in federal appropriations for the project.

Mary Sue Parnell, &uot;Foots’&uot; widow, said of the ground breaking Monday, &uot;I know that my husband would be very excited today.

&uot;He wanted this so badly before he passed away,&uot; she said. &uot;He loved Montevallo, and he loved books and history brooks.&uot;

Family on hand for the event in addition to Mrs. Parnell and Grisham were David Grisham, Virginia Grisham, Kay Grisham and &uot;Foots&uot; Parnell III.

Participating in the groundbreaking were Mrs. Parnell; Anderson; Pauline Bouvier, director of the Parnell Memorial Library; Jane Clayton; Libbie Rodgers; Agee and Ann Kelly; and Norman McMillan, board member of the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation and past president of the Montevallo Main Street Players.

Group contributors to the capital campaign for the Parnell Memorial Library as of Nov. 1 include: Leadership Gift Division, $35,000 and above – city of Montevallo, the federal government, Montevallo Main Street Players, The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Shelby County Health Foundation, The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Energen/Alabama Gas Corporation, The Peoples Bank and Trust Company and Lafarge North America.

In the Major Gifts Division, $10,000-$34,999 are Compass Bank, Susan Mott Webb Charitable Trust, Hill Crest Foundation Inc., Chemical Lime Company, The Thompson Foundation, Regions Bank, EBSCO Industries Inc., BellSouth Corporation, Alabama State Council on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, Alabama Power Foundation Inc., the Shelby County Commission and State Farm Insurance.

In the Special Gifts Division, $1,000-$9,999 are The Caring Foundation, the Harry B. and Jane H. Brock Foundation, Lucky’s Foodland, SouthTrust Bank, Vulcan Materials Company, Wal-Mart Foundation, MillSource, Cingular Wireless, The ING Foundation, Bruno’s Supermarkets Inc. and Bruno’s Memorial Classic Foundation Inc., Aliant Bank, Central State Bank, First United Security Bank, Homeland Computer Systems Inc. and Sam’s Club