SOS campaign creeping closer

The $1.7 million Support Our Swimming Pool (SOS) Campaign to renovate the Caledonia pool into a family aquatic center is holding a phonathon this week and early next week to solicit remaining area contributors. Callers will be phoning from Miken and working evenings from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“We are very close to reaching an important milestone for the campaign,” said Joanne Zard of the steering committee. “When the campaign reaches $1.2 million, the city council has made the decision to purchase design plans for construction. Once our team has this go ahead, USAquatics starts preparing plans and they estimate it will take approximately eight to 10 weeks to prepare the construction materials. We are about $100,000 away from that benchmark,” Zard said.

After the calling is completed information will be sent to those who desire more details on giving to the SOS (Support Our Swimming Pool) Aquatic Center Campaign that will replace Caledonia’s deteriorating tank pool with a more cost effective facility. Campaign volunteers believe the new facility offers something for all ages.

When the design plans are completed all those wishing to contribute through in-kind services of time or materials will be asked to pitch in. SOS volunteers have identified many people who have said they want to make in-kind gifts, but they need the design plans to make their final decision on just how much.

“Our area contractors are interested in helping with the project, which is why it is so vital to reach this benchmark as soon as possible,” Zard said. “There is a strong possibility we could start work this fall based on money raised so we can open next summer. We are all working hard toward that goal.”

Many people are purchasing special tiles that will be engraved in memory or honor of loved ones for $250 and over. Pledges may be paid over three years. Families may pool together for this naming recognition for loved ones. The tiles will be located on a Donor Wall in the facility.

Various sizes of the plaques are available based on the amount pledged. Pledges are sought at this time, but outright checks may be given as desired to pay off the pledge. Pledges may be paid from 2013 through 2015 on a time schedule at donors’ discretion. Checks may be made to SOS Campaign and mailed to Caledonia City Hall. All contributions for the project are tax deductible.

For more information on the project call Jessica Kohnen at city hall at 725-3450.