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Czech museum, library under construction

The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center, Inc. (TCHCC) State Museum, Library and Archives Building is under construction and nearing completion.
The long-awaited day came as the Board of Directors broke ground in June 2008 at the TCHCC site in LaGrange and construction on the 10,000-square-foot facility began immediately. Currently, the roof and siding are in place and completion of the $1.7 million building designed by Roger Kolar, architect, is expected in mid 2009.
To support the building fund of this statewide Czech Center, the SOKOL organization of Ennis will have a benefit New Year’s Eve Dance at the SOKOL Athletic Center in Ennis. To entertain the crowd with music from Czech to country will be “Czech and Then Some.” Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and black-eyed peas and cornbread will be served at midnight.
“Come and join us to bring in the New Year; we will play for your dancing and listening pleasure”, said Danny Zapletal, band director.
The Czech museum building will have an exhibit area, a library, a vault, a multipurpose room that will be available to the public for wedding receptions, banquets and dinners, a gift shop and a large glassed entrance area. The exhibits in the museum will rotate so various themes can be portrayed and many different objects can be displayed. A collection of genealogical resources will be available for research of family histories and computers will be available for research as well.
“It is an exciting day for many of us to see our dream of a statewide Czech Museum and Library become a reality,” TCHCC president Retta Chandler said. “We want to thank the many people who have continued to make donations each year to help us reach this goal. Although all of the money has not been raised to date, fund-raising efforts continue and naming opportunities are still available for the Endowment Fund as well as some of the exhibit areas.”
A donors’ wall inside the building will recognize all donations of $1,000 or more.
The new TCHCC Museum & Library is located on the 70-acre TCHCC site that is adjacent to the Fayette County Fairgrounds. The Kalich House near the Hwy. 77 entrance to the site was the first restored building and serves as the Visitors Center until the new building is finished. Robert Slovak of Slovak Construction of Ennis together with others from Ennis donated several months of their time to restore this beautiful house in 2001.
The Visitors Center is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Approximately 25 volunteers donate their time and expertise to make the Center available to visitors. Some work on a regular basis while others come to help during special events.
Other buildings of interest that are located on the site are those in the Early Texas Village with three restored houses, the Polka Lovers Club of Texas Museum, a twin log barn and a small store. Additionally, a beautiful Amphitheater with stadium type seating for 400 is also a part of the complex.
“We are grateful for the many artifacts that have been donated so far,” Chandler said. “We have started planning our exhibits. We are still in need of musical instruments, information and pictures of the early Czech band members and bands because music was such an important part of Czech life.”
The TCHCC Board and Volunteers look forward to serving the people with meaningful programs that will promote and preserve our heritage for future generations. Members of the TCHCC Board of Directors volunteer their time and are from all parts of the state. Larry Laznovsky of Ennis is among the founding Directors of TCHCC. The concept of a statewide center was spearheaded by a coalition of Czech founded organizations that provided seed money to start the planning and to support its incorporation. Those organizations were as follows: Czech Heritage Society of Texas, Czech Ex-Students Association of Texas, Czech Educational Foundation of Texas, McLennan-Hill CHS, Travis-Williamson Counties CHS KJT, KJZT, RVOS, SOKOL and SPJST.
For information on membership, donations and special events, call 1-888-785-4500 or check the Web site at www.czechtexas.org.

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Posted by on Dec 30 2008. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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