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Shelter Island Historical Society closes in on funding goal

 COURTESY PHOTO | Rendering of a proposed additions to the Shelter Island Historical Society Haven’s House, which would include a new building to house a storage vault, classroom and display space.

COURTESY PHOTO |
Rendering of a proposed additions to the Shelter Island Historical Society Haven’s House, which would include a new building to house a storage vault, classroom and display space.

The Shelter Island Historical Society’s newsletter reported that as of September 30, 110 donors had contributed $1.5 million of the $1.7 million that an extensive building project is expected to cost.

The project will include a new building with a state-of-the-art archive vault, a classroom and display space.

With $1.2 million on hand in July, two couples — Jerry and Belle Lareau and Ed and Nancy Barr — had each promised up to $100,000 in matching grants.

The $1.5 million reported in the newsletter includes the $100,000 the Lareaus and Barrs each pledged in matching grants and based on what’s being reported, one of those grants has been fully matched while the other would need matches amounting to $100,000. If that happens, it would bring money on hand to $1.6 million.

Contributions were being received on a daily basis, according to the newsletter.

The fund raising effort to match the grants from Lareaus and Barrs ends on December 15.

Permits needed before construction can begin, including a wetlands permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Protection, are in process.

While the Society’s Executive Director Nanette Breiner Lawrenson isn’t saying, it would now appear that there’s little likelihood the Society will have to borrow money to complete the project.

Three trustees resigned last spring after a vote that had authorized borrowing up to $500,000 if needed for the project. Ms. Breiner Lawrenson acknowledged discussions with Bridgehampton National Bank officials, but said no paper work had been filed for any loan.

She also said in September that if there were cost overruns for the project, Elizabeth and William Pedersen, who put up the initial money for the building, would close the gap.

She speculated that such overruns would be limited to landscaping or other relatively minor additions to finish the project.

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