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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Froedtert/St.Joe's donation considered at West Bend SB work session

FROEDTERT/ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL in West Bend has offered $250,000 to the West Bend School District for a youth fitness center, to be added on to the WB High Schools. The gift, its implications, long-term effects on the community, and financial undertakings were discussed at last night's West Bend School Board work session.

Though no decision has yet been made concerning the acceptance of this donation, for all intents and purposes the board gave the appearance of moving forward and most likely accepting the gift.

Bruce Koenig questioned whether or not it would be opened up to the community, or if it would be strictly for the youth. No final answer was committed to regarding this query, but Supt. Pat Herdrich stated that it is possible the community would be allowed usage, citing Slinger's management of their youth fitness center and the positive effect on the community.

Equipment is already being aquired through a PEP grant, but a location must be in the works in order to receive the $130,000 worth of exercise equipment.

The total cost for the youth fitness project is an estimated $680,000.

The cost would be offset by:
1. $250,00 from Froedtert/St. Joe's.
2. $130,000 PEP grant

There was discussion of a possible additional private community donation of up to $300,000, but no commitment has been made in this regard.

Warren Schmidt indicated that there was $226,000 in the maintenance fund, so if the donors do not come through with the $300,000, this will clinch the remaining funding for the project.

John Duwell is concerned that if the board turns down this offer from Froedtert/St. Joe's, we will "risk losing the gift."

The CFAC-2 committee will frame up the plans, to include architectural drawings, for the next school board work session, to present to the full school board at the following regular meeting to determine action.

The new plan involves a building of 6,000 square feet, according to Warren Schmidt. Operating costs will need to include the usual heating, lighting, cleaning and general maintenance. Naming rights would belong to Froedtert/St. Joe's.

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