Ben F. McDonald Library Grand Opening Saturday - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Ben F. McDonald Library Grand Opening Saturday

Posted: Updated:
CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

One year later and with more than $1.5 million in improvements and upgrades, the Greenwood Library will be reopening its doors.

However, with the improvements comes a name change, and a new beginning to a Westside landmark that has provided generations of children fun learning experiences that last a lifetime.

"It's almost a brand new building," Director of Libraries Herb Canales said. "It looks brand new, with a lot of emphasis on young children."

When the Ben F. McDonald Public Library officially opens on Saturday, it will usher in a new era for the Westside neighborhood. More than just a name change honoring former mayor McDonald, a champion of civil rights, but it is also a way of honoring a Corpus Christi businessman and his wife, Velia and Joe Deleon.

"He worked side-by-side with Mr. Deleon. Mr. Joe Deleon, who was a pharmacist," Canales said. "And they were very big in providing education in branch libraries in Corpus Christi, so it's really very appropriate that this building, probably the only one of its kind, recognizes two people who basically worked together on the same legacy for the same purposes."

The remodeling project was funded by a $1.5 million bond approved by voters in 2008, and an additional $350,000 dollars was provided by private donors and grants. That money helped fund the space-themed children's area named for the  Deleon's.

"60-percent of the public space in this library is dedicated to children, because that's so important that they get a good start," Canales said. "Particularly the ones that are pre-schoolers, so they get a good start before they get to first grade, and are prepared to learn. They need to be prepared to learn, and that's what we represent here."

As employees were putting the finishing touches on the facility, librarians were busy stocking shelves, all preparing for Saturday's ribbon cutting and dedication, which will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday.

  • Family Searches for Missing Man

    Family Searches for Missing Man

    An Aransas Pass family is searching for their loved one who went missing in Brooks County. His family says it's the last thing he said on the phone that has them fearing for his life. 20 year old Eric Samora reportedly called his family two weeks ago saying he was running for his life through the brush near Falfurrias and didn't know where he was at. That's when the phone went dead. Anayeli Ruiz spoke with the young man's family and has the story.More >>
    An Aransas Pass family is searching for their loved one who went missing in Brooks County. His family says it's the last thing he said on the phone that has them fearing for his life. 20 year old Eric Samora reportedly called his family two weeks ago saying he was running for his life through the brush near Falfurrias and didn't know where he was at. That's when the phone went dead. Anayeli Ruiz spoke with the young man's family and has the story.More >>
  • Military Matters: Mission Smile

    Military Matters: Mission Smile

    Making sure our men and women in uniform are in tip top shape, also means making sure they have good dental hygiene. In our Military Matters report, Sarah Acosta introduces us to the team from the Navy Dental Corps stationed at NASCC. The Navy Dental Corps celebrated its one hundred and second birthday this month. The organization was established in 1912 and nowadays there are more than twenty-five hundred active reserve duty corps personnel. There are three Navy Dental Corps officers at t...More >>
    Making sure our men and women in uniform are in tip top shape, also means making sure they have good dental hygiene. In our Military Matters report, Sarah Acosta introduces us to the team from the Navy Dental Corps stationed at NASCC. The Navy Dental Corps celebrated its one hundred and second birthday this month. The organization was established in 1912 and nowadays there are more than twenty-five hundred active reserve duty corps personnel. There are three Navy Dental Corps officers at t...More >>
  • "A Lady Never Reveals her True Age" -Lena Coleman-Wilson

    "A Lady Never Reveals her True Age" -Lena Coleman-Wilson

    Lena Coleman-Wilson has dedicated her life to helping others. This weekend, Lena, who has done so much for the community was in for a surprise of her own. A birthday surprise that is! Coleman-Wilson said, "my husband really put one over on me. He didn't tell me nothing about this. It's just so beautiful. I feel like i'm floating on air, i'm just so happy." Coleman-Wilson, is the former president of the NAACP and volunteer to several other local organizations over the years. Folks from all ov...More >>
    Lena Coleman-Wilson has dedicated her life to helping others. This weekend, Lena, who has done so much for the community was in for a surprise of her own. A birthday surprise that is! Coleman-Wilson said, "my husband really put one over on me. He didn't tell me nothing about this. It's just so beautiful. I feel like i'm floating on air, i'm just so happy." Coleman-Wilson, is the former president of the NAACP and volunteer to several other local organizations over the years. Folks from all ov...More >>