US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

APS board considering loan to library for building project

October 15, 2014 01:45 PM

The American Philatelic Society board of directors is making plans for the $1.3 million gift left to the society by 25-year APS member Walter Weber, who died May 23.

As reported in Linn’s Sept. 29 issue, the donation is the largest ever received by the society.

During a telephone board meeting held Oct. 7, board members heard a proposal to use the money as a loan to the American Philatelic Research Library, to complete construction of the new library space at APS headquarters in Bellefonte, Pa.

The necessary details were worked out in the days following the meeting, according to APS president Stephen Reinhard, and will be submitted to the society’s attorney, who will prepare a proposal for a vote by the APS and APRL boards within the next two weeks.

“APS would offer a $1.6 million credit line to APRL for the purpose of completing the library construction,” Reinhard told Linn’s Stamp News. “Total cost estimated at $1.9 million, of which APRL has about $300,000 available. Money would be structured as a mortgage loan with regular principal and interest payments. The credit line would come from the Weber money plus other Campaign for Philately money.”

Reinhard confirmed to Linn’s that the loan, if approved by the two boards, will replace any and all external borrowing previously planned for that purpose.

A Sept. 9 APS news release reported that the APRL planned to negotiate a construction loan with First National Bank, a move that will not be necessary if the APS loan goes through.

This way, Reinhard explained, the APS will collect the interest as the loan is repaid, rather than paying it to an outside bank.

Since 2004, the library has been in temporary quarters smaller than the previous library location in State College, Pa. (though with an additional 5,500-square-foot annex space).

Two buildings on the converted match factory property that is now home to the APS and APRL have been partially prepared to serve as the location for the new library, with new foundations, roofs and structural support, according to details released by the two organizations. Funds from an earlier gift from the estate of William Bauer were used for this project.

When completed, this new space will provide approximately 50 percent more square footage than the current location of the library and annex.

Published 10/15/2014 1:45 PM