July 10, 2013 - Lindbergh Schools received a donation this week valued at $2 million from Sunset Hills resident Alwal "Al" Moore
Moore presented the district with 10 acres on the former Paraclete Fathers property in the Tapawingo subdivision, in the form of a 50-year lease, which was signed by Board of Education President Kathleen Kienstra on Tuesday, according to a district news release.
Al and Betty Moore’s legacy gift will benefit Lindbergh students for decades to come, Superintendent Jim Simpson stated in the release. Lindbergh Schools is leasing the property at a cost of $1 per year.
“We are grateful to Mr. Moore for his overwhelming generosity, which could not have come at a better time, considering our aggressive student growth,” Simpson stated. “This property offers historical value and cultural opportunities for residents, educators and several generations of children. It is a place where they can learn and grow and appreciate the history of their local community.”
Lindbergh Schools takes pride in being a good neighbor to the residents surrounding its nine school buildings, and the Moore property will be no exception, according to Simpson.
Moore had sought to operate a private library on the historic property, but the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen voted unanimously in March to reject a conditional-use permit, or CUP, for the site to allow the library.
Moore’s proposal for the library at 13270 Maple Drive met opposition during several public hearings from his neighbors in the three Tapawingo subdivisions, near the Tapawingo National Golf Club.
Moore has lived in Sunset Hills since before the city was incorporated and purchased the site in 2010 for $2 million with the goal of preserving the historic buildings and land.
Moore bought the site from the Paraclete Fathers, to which Falstaff Brewing Co. owner Joseph "Papa Joe" Griesedieck had donated the buildings and land for use as a religious retreat.
In an attempt to preserve the buildings and green space, Moore offered the property to the city as a park for $1 million, but the city did not have the funds.
Last August, Moore applied for a CUP for a "cultural center," and after meeting with neighbors, he amended his request to ask to operate a library. Sunset Hills has no public library.
The library, according to the proposal, would feature art exhibits and music lessons and include three of the site's buildings, including a historic tower that would be used as exhibit space for the Sunset Hills Historical Society, a chapel that would be used as a reading area and the McNamara Building, which would house donated books. The Sunset Hills Historical Society supported the proposal.
Look for complete coverage in the July 18 issue of the Call.