Ice Cream Celebration
Big Thicket Messenger - September 2007
The public is invited to enjoy an Ice Cream Celebration at the Liberty Municipal Library Humphreys Cultural center on September 25 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Blue Bell ice cream with plenty of delicious toppings will be served. The event is a special ‘thank you’ to the community for its tremendous financial support over the past year for the expansion and renovation of the Geraldine D. Humphreys Cultural Center. The Cultural Center Expansion Fund-Raising Committee is beginning its second year of work for the expansion and renovation project. Paul Henry chairs the committee, which is planning four major fund-raising events for 2007-2008.
The expansion project will more than double the space of the Liberty Municipal Library and will add 3,410 square feet of much-needed backstage storage space to the Humphreys-Burson Theatre and an inside passage from backstage to the theater lobby. The entire facility will be renovated with new carpeting, lighting and paint. New restroom facilities will be added and the existing restrooms will be upgraded. An elevator will be added and the library will gain a first floor meeting room and additional second floor storage.
The City of Liberty has engaged Richard Edwards of Edwards Associates in Houston as architect. The price for the entire project is $2,487,000. Over $300,000 has been raised thanks to many generous donations from the public and the work of the Cultural Center Expansion Fund-Raising Committee, and the city of Liberty has set aside $1,000,000.
The Cultural Center opened in 1970 with great fanfare. The land and a sizeable portion of the building cost was given to the City of Liberty by Mrs. Geraldine Davis Humphreys, a descendant of the pioneer Hardin Family who occupied the location, known as Seven Pines, beginning in the early 1800’s. The Humphreys-Burson Theatre honors the memory of Mrs. Humphrey’s only child, Kalita Humphreys Burson and her husband, Joe Burson, who was tragically killed in an airplane crash in the 1950s. The Bursons were founders of the Valley Players theater group.
This will be the first enlargement and major renovation of the facility since its opening. The Liberty Municipal Library has been in great need of additional space for at least 15 years. The library was built to accommodate 36,000 volumes but at present holds over 41,000. A no-growth policy has been in place for more than a decade; for every book that is purchased, another has to be removed from the shelf to make room.
Doubling its public space will enable the library to vastly increase its holdings and will, among other things, provide more room for children’s programs, adult programs and classes, additional computers, and more study and meeting areas. The expansion will also make possible many technological improvements.
The theater will gain space for set building and storage, costume and prop storage, and an enclosed passageway from the backstage to the theater lobby.
The goal of raising over $1,000,000 is an extremely ambitious one, but the rewards will be great. The expanded Geraldine D. Humphreys Cultural Center will meet the needs of Liberty for many years to come.
For more information, call the Liberty Municipal Library at (936) 336-8901.