Foundation achieves financial gains | News, Sports, Jobs
FAIRMONT– The Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation continues to work on fundraising for the proposed community center. To date, the Foundation has raised nearly $5 million for the construction and operation of a community center.
The Foundation was created in September 2021 following an announcement that the Rosen family, the Krahmer family and the Fairmont Mayo Clinic Health System were teaming up to pledge $4.5 million in funding.
Since then, the Foundation has raised an additional $400,000 for the project and has to date raised 75% of its original goal by securing a total of $4.9 million in pledges and one-time cash donations.
Foundation member Amy Long said they’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes fundraising as they recognize there are still a number of unknowns at this time regarding the project.
“The Foundation is only one of the partners in this whole community center project in the Fairmont region. It obviously depends on the final design and construction plans of the city and getting us to that final dollar amount for what is going to be built,” Long said.
She said with that in mind, the Foundation focused on its partnership with the YMCA, which it secured in March. They are also working with the city and the community center advisory board to develop building plans.
“It took a long time. It’s not that we haven’t raised funds, it’s just a little quieter because of some of these key things that need to happen,” Long said.
The Community Center Advisory Board is responsible for making recommendations to City Council regarding planning, construction and financing.
While construction plans and budget are still being finalized, the Foundation has set the project budget at $20 million, with the city contributing $14 million, from local sales tax on the options passed in 2017, and the Foundation privately raised $6 million for construction.
Additionally, the Foundation has also targeted an additional $500,000 for a Founders Fund, bringing the total fundraising goal to $6.5 million.
“It’s specific for start-up operational costs. It is a tactic to ensure the long-term sustainability of operations,” Long explained.
There is no timeline for when they want the funds raised. Long said they would like all the money raised before construction begins, but that remains unknown. However, she said they work with financial institutions that work with community projects like this that are able to provide a loan or money needed for construction when the time comes so they can continue to to collect funds.
“But the Foundation is very confident that we will be able to achieve this initial goal of $6.5 million in the short term,” Long said.
Going forward, the Foundation plans to have one or two representatives available for any opportunity to sit down with the community center advisory board, the city and the YMCA.
As for public engagement, the Marketing and Communications Committee, a Foundation committee, was present at various community events. Long said they plan to have a booth with information at the Martin County Fair.
“Right now I feel like we have a good momentum with the contracts in place with the city and the architects, the owner’s representative and the construction manager. Everyone is on board now, under contract, working on this community center project,” Long said.
She said they encourage people to reach out and ask questions about the project, but also about the donation. She said they were looking for other community members, leaders and businesses to join the effort with the Foundation.
“It’s exciting. We need to start celebrating progress and the possibility of what’s to come,” Long said.
For more information about the project or to make a pledge or donation, visit fairmontcommunitycenter.com.