initiates campaign to raise
$8 million to fulfill its goal
Express Staff Writer
Janss Community Center group is preparing for a final fund-raising push
that could help build a $15 million, 68,000-square foot recreation
facility in Ketchum.
Center campaign co-chairs, Alex Orb and Kathy Jones, are preparing to
kick off an $8 million fundraising effort to help build a state-of-the-art
community recreation center at Ketchumís park and ride lot on the corner
of Warm Springs and Saddle roads. Courtesy photo
Ketchum City Councilís will to hold a large property for the eventual
community center appears to be weakening. Last year, Ketchum approved a
resolution giving the Janss Center 18 months to raise enough money to move
forward with plans to build a community center on the city-owned park and
ride lot, but the resolution is not binding.
have not reviewed their pro-forma, but Iíve already publicly said that I
have concerns," Ketchum Mayor Ed Simon said. "Iím trying to
hold back out of a certain fairness to them, but thatís really hard for
me to do."
council members expressed similar sentiments April 16 at an affordable
Community Center Board chair Cynthia Murphy announced last week that Wood
River Valley residents Kathy Jones and Alex Orb will lead the centerís
$8 million Our Kidsí Campaign to complete fundraising efforts.
are very excited to have Kathy and Alex as our campaignís leaders,"
Murphy said. "Both are long-time residents, have been connected with
our efforts since the beginning and, most importantly, both have raised
need this facility," Jones said. "As the needs of our community
have outgrown what has generously been made available to us throughout the
Centerís goal is to provide facilities for swimming, ice skating,
hockey, basketball, dance, aerobics, martial arts, rock climbing and
strength training. Meeting rooms and convention space also will be
will be a place for the community, and particularly our teens to
gather," according to a press release from the group.
fundraising events and through board member donations, the group has
raised $750,000 for operational and planning costs, Community Center
campaign director Mike Wolter said.
City Council members have said they like the concepts behind the Janss
Center, but projected losses during the first two years of operation
grabbed their attention when a business plan was presented last summer.
business plan proposes that the Janss Center coordinate loans and private
fundraising efforts to build the facility, but turn financial
responsibility over to the city after the project is built.
from facility operations would eventually help cover debts, according to
the business plan by Brailsford and Dunlavey business planners. However,
projected shortfalls during the first two years of operation would be
covered by the city. Those could amount to more than $700,000 over the
two-year time frame.
majority of these facilities cannot cover both the operating budget and
the debt to built them," said Brailsford and Dunlavey Vice President
Jeff Turner last summer. "If they did, thereíd be tons of private
developers building them everywhere."
the Janss Centerís planning was guided by four objectives: creating
fitness facilities, making the facilities affordable and accessible to
children, making the facilities affordable and accessible to families and
operating as a self-sustaining facility.
to Wolter, the organization will approach the "full community"
for gifts in the near future.
are currently working on lead gifts and the recruitment of additional
volunteer leadership," he said.
Ketchumís shrinking patience for a project thatís been more than five
years in the works, Wolter said he hopes the group can show reasons not to
certainly feel pressure, but we feel like weíre ready to move forward
now," he said.