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Millions willed to two organizations from Waynesboro man's estate

March 02, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Jacob Short, 8, left, works on his spelling homework with family friend Lesley Kotlanger Thursday afternoon at The Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library on E. Main Street in Waynesboro.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Sizable donations from a Waynesboro man’s estate are allowing two organizations to consider expanding their facilities.

The Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library’s board of directors learned about eight months ago that it will receive $1 million from the estate of Donald E. Nary, board President Pat Groff said.

Likewise, the Antietam Humane Society off Lyons Road stands to receive about $1 million.

“We were notified by the attorney we were named as a recipient,” said Andrea Haugh, executive director of the animal shelter.

Both Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library and Antietam Humane Society are considering ways to use Nary’s contributions for capital projects.

“We’re kind of bursting at the seams where we are now,” Groff said.

Groff said library officials looked at renovating the existing structure on East Main Street or building elsewhere, but decided to stay in town. Officials are planning for a two-story addition in the present-day courtyard.

The Antietam Humane Society is working with a designer to put together concepts for expanding or building anew on its site. Haugh said construction could occur in 2014.

The shelter’s current building dates to 1979.

“To do an expansion, we’d have to bring a lot of things here to current code,” Haugh said.

Nary did not contact the shelter about the contribution before his death, Haugh said. The shelter learned of the donation in 2011, she said.

Nary’s donation also came as a surprise to the library, Groff said.

“We had no idea we were named in his will, and it’s kind of serendipitous that it provided the seed money” for a building project, she said.

Haugh said shelter workers do not remember Nary, although she said it is possible a former executive director who died suddenly might have known him.

“We’re just very surprised and excited about the donation,” Haugh said.

Groff and Nary are both former teachers who had met. In addition to their professions, they also shared a common interest that hints at the reason for one of his donations.

“I just think he, too, was a lover of books,” Groff said.

The library plans to spend $250,000 to move around areas of the existing building, enlarge the children’s area and improve computer infrastructure, Groff said. A 6,700-square-foot addition will include a meeting room that can be accessed from a separate entrance, she said.

The changes will give the library more book space and make it more useable, Groff said.

The existing library is in a 15-room Colonial house that was donated by the granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton, who was a Waynesboro businessman. The library was operating out of borough hall until it moved in 1955.

Bushey Feight Morin Architects of Hagerstown is designing the library project, while GRC General Contractors of Zullinger, Pa., will handle construction. The architects designed the new Washington County Free Library.

“We feel this project is going to enhance the library we now have,” Groff said. “People are going to enjoy coming to the library, particularly with all the services we have to offer.”

The library, which is seeking to raise an additional $500,000 through a capital campaign, plans to start construction after the summer reading program concludes this year.

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