Donations let library expand workout roomEdit

Family's contribution makes impact in HomesteadEdit

Thursday, August 03, 2006
by Jan Ackerman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Through $125,000 in donations from several private donors, including Intuit Inc. Chairman Bill Campbell, a Homestead native, the cardio room at the athletic club at the Carnegie Library of Homestead will almost double in size and get some new equipment.

Donations to the library were made by the Campbell family, which includes Mr. Campbell and his wife, Roberta; as well as Ron Conway, a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley.

They were made in memory of Mr. Campbell's brother, James J. Campbell, a Homestead High School graduate who was a Navy fighter pilot, a retired Navy commander and real estate developer in Phoenix who died March 8 at age 63. A plaque honoring Mr. Campbell will be hung on the wall of the refurbished cardio room.

"It's very exciting news," said Kate Grannemann, executive director of the massive building, which was donated by industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1898.

The library at 510 10th Ave. is in Munhall, but used to be part of Homestead. It has a 1,000-seat concert hall, a gym with an overhead track, an indoor swimming pool and a library.

She said the cardio room at the library's health club would be closed for several weeks while the work is done.

The exercise room on the second floor will be expanded to a room that currently is empty. New equipment will be added, including a 10-piece workout circuit.

Mr. Campbell said he wanted the donations to go to the library, but he and Mr. Conway didn't specify how the money should be spent.

"The library was an important part of my life growing up. It was where we learned to swim, where we found books we couldn't afford to buy. It was a wonderful place," Mr. Campbell said from his office at Intuit Inc. in Mountain View, Calif.

Intuit is best known for making computer software programs such as Quicken and TurboTax.

Mr. Campbell said Mr. Conway was a good friend who had visited the Steel Valley with him and his late brother and "really enjoyed the environment."

"He made the donation on behalf of the Campbell family because he knew my brother very well," Mr. Campbell said.

Ms. Grannemann said the cardio room, which has treadmills and exercise bicycles, would be closed during the renovation. Hanson Design Center of the South Side is designing the space.

The cardio room is part of the library's fitness club, which has a weight room and a large swimming pool in the basement.

There's also a gym with an overhead walking track that has been in the building since it was built.

About 200 members belong to the health club. The fee is $25 a month.

Both Campbell brothers attended Homestead High School, where they were star athletes and held leadership positions.

The Campbell family has made other sizeable donations to the community, especially to the Steel Valley School District, which has received more than $3.5 million.

The school district's William V. Campbell Athletic Field is named in honor of their father, the former superintendent of schools for the Homestead School District.

In May, Mr. Campbell came to Steel Valley High School, to which he donated more than $1 million to build a middle school gym in honor of his brother "as something durable and of lasting value for Jim Campbell."

Mr. Campbell frequently donates smaller amounts of money for smaller items, such as improving technology in police cars or fireworks for Homestead's 125th anniversary. First published on August 3, 2006 at 12:00 am Jan Ackerman can be reached at or 412-851-1512.


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