MEL expansion: INAH permit is approved and the pot is growing

600,000 more pesos needed to complete 2nd phase of library renovation

The Mérida English Library's multipurpose classroom and rear garden is in the first phase of expansion.
  • The Mérida English Library's multipurpose classroom and rear garden is in the first phase of expansion.

Merida, Yucatan — An important hurdle in any Centro Historico renovation has been met: The INAH permit is in hand. And fundraising efforts have paid off.

The good news is according to an announcement today from the Merida English Library.

In the first half of 2018 and the latter portion of 2017, MEL raised 573,545 pesos and spent 182,455 pesos on Phase 1 of the project, leaving 391,090 pesos going into 2019. The first phase consisted of creating the new children’s area and renovating the men’s bathroom, work which could be accomplished while waiting for INAH approvals.

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In the latter portion of 2018 and so far in 2019, the Merida English Library raised over 600,000 pesos. The two largest sources of income were the silent auction (294,658 pesos) and the two trips sponsored by Joanna and Jorge Rosado (the Central Mexico trip alone raised 125,948, and the Chiapas trip is under way).

So MEL has over 1 million pesos to fund Phase 2 of the expansion project.

“We could not have reached this impressive figure without the hard work and dedication of many people; especially MEL President Greg Casini, who has chaired the Capital Campaign Committee and whose vision made the auction a resounding success for the second year in a row,” reads a statement in a MEL newsletter sent out today. “A huge and heartfelt thanks goes out as well to Joanna Rosado, whose experience, enthusiasm and tireless efforts have made the MEL trips a great success.”

MEL has also received the INAH license, but is still waiting for the final municipal license to begin Phase 2. They expect to have all the paperwork and construction bids in place in time for early-summer construction.

Fundraising continues because Phase 2 will cost 1.6 million pesos. This estimate is based on the plans as submitted to INAH, and the original cost estimate. INAH imposed some requirements on the project, so the plans have been modified to reflect those changes, said MEL.

“So, while we have raised a tremendous amount of money, more remains to be done. We estimate needing approximately $600,000 more to complete Phase 2 of the project,” the newsletter states. “Once the final fundraising events have finished (as well as the other ‘high season’ activities), we will have more accurate figures of available funds to present to MEL members and friends. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members and friends for your generous support during this exciting project.”

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