ATKINSON - What began as a thought to expand the patio area outside the Kimball Library in Atkinson has turned into an ambitious project spearheaded by a small group of citizens who believe that the community needs a nice comfortable venue where performers and spectators alike can enjoy outdoor events.
The new Kimball Library was completed in 2008. Originally, there were plans for a large outdoor area for performances but due to budget constraints, that project was taken out. The bowl shaped area itself however, was carved out of the hillside with hopes that someday it would get completed. With the blessing of the Town’s Selectman and Library Trustees, the “Courtyard at the Kimball Library” project committee has developed a plan that will include constructing sitting walls with granite stairs along the walls for people to get between the upper and lower viewing areas. A welcoming new lit entrance will be created with new walkways leading to the stairs, seating and the performance areas. Low voltage lighting will be installed in the walls, stairs and surrounding landscape and a sprinkler system will be installed utilizing an old well on the site of the old Library next to the Kimball House which is the home of the Atkinson Historical Society. The sprinkler will take care of all grass areas from the upper parking lot to the lower one at the Library.
The friends of the Kimball Library agreed to become involved and all donations are going through them. They are a 501 (c) 3 group which provides financial and physical assistance for projects involving the Kimball Library. The goal is to raise close to $45,000 in a very short window. The Committee began doing presentations and sending out donation requests started in Late February with area businesses and organizations.
One of the groups, The Timberlane Community Band, recognized what a great performing venue this would be and stepped up to the plate and became the Platinum Sponsor with a significant donation to kick off the project. According to the group’s President, Kathleen McGuirk, “This venue, once completed, will be a great boost to the citizens as well as giving groups such as the Timberlane Community Band a wonderful place to perform”. The Friends group also stepped up to the plate and immediately offered to be the Gold sponsor for the fundraising campaign.