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Ground is Broken for New Barn Addition

Images of Building Progress


Four years after the initial conversations began. . . three years after negotiations began with the school system, two years after rough plans were put on paper and one year after fundraising efforts were kicked-off. . .ground was finally broken in May and construction was set to begin on the new “barn” addition to the Ankeny Area Historical Society Museum.

Numerous members, well wishers, volunteers and dignitaries attended the ceremony where Terrace third grader teacher Marge Schima and two of her students, John Nelson & Shelby Miller chiseled out the first shovel of dirt to mark the beginning of the 30' X 70' two-story building. After touring the museums last fall, Ms Schima's class raised $20 for the museum. Estimates and hopes are for the building to be ready for artifacts and visitors by early 2006.

The new addition will feature an agriculture section, school area, library and media center as well as several other displays. It will have an elevator, basement for storage and will allow the original museum to evolve back to a display of mostly period home exhibits.

Donations Continue to Come from Individuals, Businesses, Clubs and Organizations

The fundraising effort for the new addition barn facility is nearly two thirds complete. With recent pledges and donations by the City of Ankeny in a matching grant of $100,000 and $25,000 from John Deere the effort to raise $785,000 is progressing. Participating donors and their level of gifting as a May 25, 2005 is shown on page three of this newsletter.

“Obviously we still need more funding,” said President Ron Sampson. “Substantial progress has been made. And with success comes other success. We expect more good news of cash and in-kind donations as work on the building begins.”

Front Row: Don Zuck – Fundraising Chairmen, Mayor Merle Johnson, Historical Society President Ron Sampson
To say that the Historical Society operates conservatively is putting it mildly. Virtually all duties are volunteer efforts and funds are procured by membership drives(over 350 members), an annual BBQ lunch during Summerfest, a concession during Santa's North Pole Village and various grants and bequests. Monies have been put into savings for the future building project...but more is needed.

With approximately $785,000 needed to complete the project and to assure an adequate operating fund, an aggresive gathering of partners is now underway. As an independent tax exempt entity, Ankeny Area Historical Society is truly one of the facilities that benefits the entire community that is serves. The responsibilities of the Society will continue to grow as Ankeny evolves and matures from the sleepy Des Moines suburb of 1900's to the vibrant exciting city of the future. And to achieve those ends, we now solicit your consideration and help.
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