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$1 Million Gift: Bell Tower At New College, Sarasota

When she was in college, Beverly Koski enjoyed the sounds of bells ringing throughout the campus. That's why she donated a million dollars to the New College in Sarasota -- so a bell tower could be built next to the library where she's devoted time and resources since 1967.

"A bell tower is something Mrs. Koski and her late husband Robert have been talking about since the late 1980s when the library was built," says John Martin, New College of Florida's VP for finance and administration. "She has fond memories of her own experience at college. It'll be fairly modest and will fit into the plaza near the library.  She's been very active with the library over the years. She wants the tower associated with the library."

Robert Koski co-founded Sun Hydraulics of Sarasota.

According to Martin, the tower will be on the plaza that stretches from the library to the new Academic Center scheduled to open this spring.

The new three-story building will house classrooms and faculty offices, and is being built using recycled materials, insulation and a reflective roof, among other sustainable features.

"If all goes well, the academic center will open middle of April 2011,'' says Martin. "We'll start moving in over the summer and start holding classes in there in the fall. The LEED certification may be gold."

Martin says the college is beginning its search for an architect for the new tower, and he been getting a crash course in chimes.

"Maybe we start out with three chimes and class gifts may pay for new bell or new note," says Martin. "We don't have anything like it."

Source: John Martin, New College of Florida
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh

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