On March 2, Paul and Warren Miller and Dwight and Susan Sipprelle jointly offered the Randell Research Center a $50,000 gift toward restoration of the Ruby Gill House, headquarters of the Randell Research Center in Pineland. This is a challenge grant, and will be given as soon as we raise $50,000 in matching gifts.

white house
he Ruby Gill House, viewed from the east, March, 2008. Restoration work will resume as soon as we can raise $31,000. Photo by W. Marquardt

As reported in the September Friends Newsletter, (vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 1-2) we need funds to complete repairs and restoration of the historic Gill House, which was badly damaged in the hurricanes of 2004. About $178,000 in labor and donated services have been put into the house so far, provided by the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Randell Research Center, Lee County historic-preservation grants, a grant from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Arts and Attractions fund, private gifts, and donated professional services. Still to be done are structural stabilization work, enhancement of handicap-accessibility, and restoration of the walls, ceilings, and floors. When the project is completed, the Randell Research Center will finally be able to move back into its offices and laboratories, which will be sturdier, safer, and more pleasant for our visitors and staff.

The minimal amount we need to complete the necessary repairs is $108,000, so the Miller-Sipprelle challenge grant is a huge help. As this newsletter goes to press, we have received a little over $19,000, or 38% of what we need to match the Millers’ and Sipprelles’ generous offer. In short, as soon as we raise the remaining $31,000, we can resume restoration work on the house.

This article was taken from the Friends of the Randell Research Center Newsletter Vol 7, No. 1. March 2008.