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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Genealogical Society requests spot in South School

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another request has come in for space in the vacated South School.

Buena Vista County Genealogical Society has asked the Storm Lake School Board to consider providing their group space to relocate in one of the rooms at South. The society, formed in 1986, currently has members from across the United States.

The group's purpose is to preserve genealogical records, share materials and expertise with those researching and to provide a genealogical legacy for following generations.

The group is currently housed in a medium-sized room in the Historical Society Museum.

"We are bursting at the seams in that room," shared the members in a letter sent to the school board, "and there isn't any way to expand."

The Genealogical Society currently has these items - old issues of "The Storm Lake Pilot Tribune", "The Storm Lake Register", "The Vidette", "The Alta Advertiser" and some other small short-lived papers from the 1870s to the end of their publishing time; probate files from the earliest days to 1980; county history books; cemetery books; and many rolls of microfilm of newspapers from the county and records from the courthouse.

The group also has volunteers that will do research for anyone looking for help in locating information.

"We feel that our group does contribute greatly to the citizens of our county by providing all of the materials in our library," the request stated. "Most of the things are not replaceable at any price."

It was shared that there is a pretty steady amount of traffic through the genealogical library.

A nominal amount of rent money is paid to the Historical Society each month and added that they probably could not pay a "huge amount" for rent if the request were granted.

The group is requesting a room to house their library.

"We feel the South School building could be a terrific place to house our collection."

Two other requests have come in - one to house the CommUNITY Education office and one to create an art center.

The board is all for the idea of having the building used but worry about the costs of providing utilities. Last year it cost $42,639.64 to provide water, electricity, gas and telephone services for the building. That doesn't include custodial staff that would perhaps be necessary.

"It's not that we don't want people to use the building," said board member Dave Jennett. "It's can we afford it? It's a real challenge."

Dr. Paul Tedesco commented, "How will we account for what it takes to operate this building? If we could get it to be self-sufficient, that would be great."

He added that repairs are necessary on the boilers and the roof also requires some repairs.

"There will be some interesting discussion. With the budget, we have to be careful that we don't take away from the pre-K through 12th grade. They're what we're here for."

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