The Canyon Lake Times Guardian

Comal County Clerk Joy Streater, right, and Kat Brown discuss the proposed layout for the new Tye Preston Memorial Library during Wednesday’s “Food, Fun and the Future” event. TPML is raising $3.1 million to build a new 18,000-square-foot library for the Canyon Lake community. (Photo by Sandy Anna-John)

Food, Fun and the Future for Tye Preston Memorial Library

By Crystal Gottfried

Staff Writer

One of the largest crowds ever assembled at the GVTC Auditorium enjoyed an evening of food, fun and fellowship to share in the future plans to build a new Tye Preston Memorial Library building on the South Access Road at Canyon Lake.

A hearty meal was served to 326 people and after dessert, they listened to the wistful anecdotes of motivational speaker, consultant and author, Dr. Jim Kern.

In his audience-interactive talk about understanding ourselves and others, Dr. Kern invited each person to learn more about someone in their immediate vicinity with a fun “name” game. He made everyone giggle with some old and some new jokes and reminded us about realizing the importance of the people in our lives.

Event Chair Donna Eccleston hosted the evening that was sponsored by GVTC. Many of GVTC’s employees generously volunteered to help serve the meal and pick up afterwards.

Lisa Roper was the creative energy behind the stage decoration consisting of dozens of colorful balloon and piñatas framing the podium and movie screen. She also created the colorful table decorations with layers of table cloths topped with bouquets of flowers.

Board President Bette Wehner presented details of the Tye Preston Memorial Library “Story” that took the audience from 1972 when the Pilot Club Community Library opened in a donated building with donated books and volunteer workers.

“The following year Harry Preston donated land for a new library building, named in honor of his mother, Tye Preston,” she said. “In 1977, the original 1,000 square-foot building was dedicated and in 1983, a 2,500 square-foot addition to the building was completed.”

The Pathway of Friends was created in 1995 to raise funds to build another 2,500 square-foot addition to the existing building and it was completed in 1997, along with the fountain and the new sign.

In 2004, the Casteel family presented the Canyon Lake Community Library District with a deed to 6.1 acres of land on the South Access Road.

The steady increase in library usage showed the library board of trustees that more than twice as many people visited the library as in 2000 and the summer reading program served five times the number of children.

So, in 2006 and 2007, the Capital Campaign began fundraising activities that has brought in more than $1.8 million in donations; that’s over half of the $3.1 million that is needed for the new 18,000 square-foot building!

“This new library building will have 65 parking places with room to grow,” said Ms. Wehner. “And we will have a 290-seat Community Room to be used for library meetings, art exhibits, and other community meetings for organizations. Friends of the Library will have their own area to meet, sell used books, and do all the other things they usually do.”

Three-dimensional model of new library building interior or Three-dimensional model of new library building interior with labels showing “naming opportunities.” Photo by David A. Jacobson.

Ms. Wehner said that with available interim financing, the board could authorize the architects to design the first stages of the new project.

“We expect that we will have a shovel in the ground by this time next year,” she said.

For more information on how you can become “a part of the story” please visit the Tye Preston Memorial Library in person; you can check their website at or call 830-964-3744 to find out more about “naming opportunities” in the new building; placing a stone in the “Pathway of Friends” or by making a pledge.

“Spread the word,” said Ms. Wehner.

Donations are tax deductible.

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