Fund-raising effort restarted for addition

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 5/2/01.

With the auditorium and fitness center addition to the high school nearing completion, the school board is relaunching its fund-raising campaign.

The campaign started last winter, when the project's finances seemed especially bleak. The night the district planned to do some phone calling was disrupted by winter weather limiting its effectiveness.

Now, better forecasts show the project is nearly back to schedule, though the district has had to use other sources of revenue.

The fund raising is being emphasized now to ensure that willing donors are aware of the opportunity. The board plans to recognize donors - those who have given over $150 and those who have given over $250 - on plaques.

So far, the district has raised $4,000 in the campaign. They also received a $20,000 donation towards the sound system in the auditorium. The board will not be pushing too hard for donations: no door-to-door sales, etc. "We want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to give, but nobody has to," said board member Deb Glenz, who is working with board members Gretchen O'Fallon and Fern Roberg to run the drive.

"I would hate for the plaque to go up with three or four names on it when more of the community would want it," added Glenz.

Donations can be sent directly to the district office at 217 Mill St. W, Paynesville, MN 56362. They can be marked for either the auditorium, the fitness center, or both. Glenz said the plaque will have three columns with donations for the auditorium and fitness centers on the sides and for both in the middle.

The addition is scheduled to have a grand opening in June, and the board is planning on an open house on Aug. 30. The plaque needs to be in place by then, so donations need to be in by Aug. 15 to have your name placed on a plaque.

Should the project end with a deficit, the balance would need to come from the district's capital expenditure fund, which is money dedicated to improvements and repairs of the facilities. The money would not have to come from the general fund, which is where the school district faces a deficit and is cutting from next year's budget to save money.

The capital expenditure fund still has a balance, but the goal of the fund raising is to minimize any impact on it. That money is already needed to maintain the existing buildings, Glenz said.

They would love to make $45,000, Glenz said, but know that might not be realistic. "Every penny we get is one the district can save," she added.

All donations are tax deductible, Glenz said.

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