United Way donates $200,000 toward new Pima Library

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Pima Librarian Rane Jones beams with joy as she accepts a check for $200,000 from United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties Executive Director Denise Benton at Tuesday’s Pima Town Council meeting.

By Jon Johnson


PIMA – The Pima Library is moving to bigger and better digs next to Pima Elementary School thanks to a grant from the United Way.  

The United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties presented Pima Library staff with a $200,000 grant toward its new town library during the Pima Town Council’s Tuesday night meeting. 

United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties Executive Director Denise Benton presented the check and expressed her gratitude to all of the organization’s donors who make such grant approvals happen.  

“Nothing that United Way does can be done without our donors,” Benton said. “We are very fortunate to work for the organization that we work for and be able to administer these funds. We are only the stewards of those dollars.” 

Pima Librarian Rane Jones said the United Way fully funded her grant application and that, combined with a 50 percent match (actually $125,00) from the town of Pima and $20,000 from the library board, will cover construction and interior costs. Jones said they will move over the current shelving and furniture to help lower costs and hopes to have the new library opened by the end of the year.

Pima Town Manager Vernon Batty told the Gila Herald that the town is waiting on finalized designs and then will send the project out to bid.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Pima Library will be moving a few blocks east with a new building across the street from the Pima Elementary School.

The initial reason for the move from its current building is to open up space for an eventual new fire station.   

The new Pima Library will be located across the street from Pima Elementary School next to the new veteran’s memorial being constructed. As it is currently configured, it will be a 3,900-square-foot metal building and will be 60 X 65 feet with 10-foot ceilings. The gazebos already constructed with a previous grant written by Jones will serve as outdoor reading nooks and have USB charging outlets.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The Pima Library team accepts a $200,000 donation from The United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties during Tuesday night’s Pima Town Council meeting.

According to “10 Reasons Why Libraries are Important”, libraries “play an essential role in local communities by providing access to information and resources, supporting literacy and education, promoting lifelong learning, and serving as a community gathering space.”

At its new location, the Pima Library will have a public restroom that will be able to be accessed from outside the library even when closed. It will also still have its community room and will continue to have free outdoor movie nights and various children’s programs.