$600K gift will go to library upgrade


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A former trustee’s $600,000 gift to College of The Albemarle will be applied toward the library renovation project on the main campus in Elizabeth City, the college’s board of trustees has agreed.

The board voted Dec. 20 to designate the gift from the family of the late Charles Ward for the library project, which is estimated to cost $2.87 million and be funded mostly with funds from the $2 billion state bond approved by voters in March.

Trustees also agreed to appoint a committee to explore recommending the library be named for Ward, a longtime Hertford businessman, Perquimans County commissioner and COA trustee who died in September 2014 at age 76. 

Ward’s gift to COA was first announced in October. However, trustees didn’t immediately vote to designate its use. That’s because the gift’s terms required the funds to be spent either on the library or for a new baseball field. 

Trustees had already voted in April 2015 to suspend COA’s baseball and softball programs, agreeing with a recommendation from college President Kandi Deitemeyer. COA officials said the college was spending $90,000 a year on college athletics programs but had no home field on which to play its games.

According to COA officials, the library project will include complete renovation of B Building’s 11,000-square-foot first floor and 10,000 square feet of the second floor. All-new mechanical, electrical and information technology infrastructure will be installed, plus an elevator to provide better handicapped access.

COA Chief Operations Officer Joe Turner said recently that the college is hoping to complete the library renovation project before the start of 2018. If bids for the library work can go out in March, construction could start in early May and take about eight months to complete, he said.