Frautschi amily donates $600,000 for new Barneveld library

Expansion expected to begin by 2015

Published On: May 24 2013 08:03:46 AM CDT   Updated On: May 29 2013 06:25:33 AM CDT
BARNEVELD, Wis. -

Barneveld should be getting a major expansion to their public library soon, thanks in part to a grant from a local Madison family.

Library and village officials announced Thursday that the Walter A. and Dorothy Jones Frautschi Charitable Fund would donate $600,000 to a proposed library expansion project.

Jerry and John Frautschi attended a recognition ceremony Thursday put on by library supporters at Botham Vineyards in Baraboo.

The Frautschi family has been major philanthropists in the Madison area, giving millions to construct the Overture Center downtown.

However, the family decided to give money to the library project because of the family's roots in the Barneveld area.

“This gift is made from the Walter A. & Dorothy Jones Frautschi Charitable Fund,” Jerry Frautschi said. “Dorothy Frautschi was the daughter of Jerome Jones and was raised in Barneveld. Jerome Jones founded the Barneveld State Bank in 1898 and with his wife, Amelia, were major supporters of this Iowa County community.  We, John & Jerry Frautschi, grandsons of Jerome and Amelia, are very pleased that the new library will be recognized as a tribute to our grandparents.”

The $600,000 pledge is stipulated that ground be broken on the new building by March 2015 and that a plaque honoring the Jones family be displayed on the building’s exterior.

“A grateful community accepts this incredibly generous gift,” said Carrie Portz, Barneveld Library director. “The exponential growth in circulation, services and program attendance over the last three-to-five years has placed significant demands on our tiny library.” 

The rest of the $1.6 million expansion will be funded by a Village bond and community and private donations, Portz said. The Peoples Community Bank of Barneveld has also pledged $10,000.