New heating and cooling system will enable museum to welcome visitors even on really hot or cold days
Lower Colorado River Authority representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Eastland County Museum for a new HVAC system. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Jeanie Griffin, museum vice president; James Doyle, Eastland city commissioner, Place 3; Karl Richter, museum supporter; Patricia Hatton, museum secretary; Robert Culverhouse, museum treasurer; Vicki Armstrong, museum board member; Tessa Culverhouse, Eastland County district court coordinator; Cathy Vernon, museum supporter; Tim Baker, museum board member; Terry Simmons, museum president; Margaret D. "Meg" Voelter, LCRA Board member; Larry Vernon, Eastland mayor; Carol Freeman, LCRA Board member; Becky Rossander, museum supporter; H. V. O’Brien, Eastland County Today publisher; Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Richard Rossander, mayor pro tem and city commissioner, Place 5; and David Hullum, Eastland County judge.
EASTLAND, Texas – The Eastland County Museum will purchase and install a new HVAC system that will enable the museum to stay open even during extremely hot or cold weather, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.
With the Community Development Partnership Program grant and $29,050 in matching funds from the museum, the museum will be able to replace an aging and inoperable HVAC system with a new energy-efficient air conditioning system.
“The air conditioning unit on the museum’s first floor went out a couple years ago, so we don’t have heating or cooling down there,” said Terry Simmons, president of the museum. “We have some big ceiling fans, but when it hit 110 degrees this year, the fans did nothing but move the hot air around.”
On hot summer days or cold winter days, the museum has had to close its doors to visitors, as indoor temperatures sometimes topped 90 degrees or became uncomfortably cold.
“Without this grant, we don’t know how long it would have taken us to fundraise for a new system,” Simmons said. “It will allow us to resume our normal operating hours, no matter the weather, and make all of our spaces much more comfortable and enjoyable.”
The Museum received a gift of $15,000 from Jim & Leslie Keffer to be used for hvac. This seed money helped with the grant application.
The museum leases office space on the building’s third floor to organizations that help people transition out of poverty and find employment. Most of the air conditioning units on the third floor were installed in the 1970s, and as they have failed, the museum has struggled to find parts to make repairs.
“Our main goal is to preserve our local history for future generations, but we also provide a space for these important economic outreach services and welcome external exhibits that draw people to our community and local businesses,” Simmons said. “When the museum hosted the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, it brought over 5,000 visitors to Eastland.”
The museum does not charge an entry fee and operates off donations and funds generated from leasing out the building’s third floor. Simmons said the new air conditioning system will decrease the museum’s utility bill and allow it to offer additional office space for lease.
The community grant is one of 45 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit www.lcra.org.
Clara Tuma 512-578-3292