Three major Oregon area projects have put their public fundraising efforts on hold in the wake of COVID-19.
While that might mean construction on the $10 million new library, $4 million Jaycee Park West renovation and $800,000 splash pad could face delays, the community has found ways to help at least two of those projects come through.
Village Board trustee Randy Glsych and Oregon Public Library director Jennifer Endres Way both told the Observer no major fund contributors have pulled out for either the library’s capital campaign or the park’s renovation. All in-person fundraising and spreading awareness events for each project remain canceled or postponed.
But checks continue to trickle in, they said — even as the library shuttered, offering only curbside services, and sports vanished from park grounds. They said some people even donated their federal stimulus checks.
Deb Bossingham, splash pad project co-leader, said everything for the project is halted altogether “until we can get everyone back to work.” She did not say whether or not any major contributors for that project have stopped giving funds.
Bossingham didn’t comment on ways the community is helping the splash pad come through. She told the Observer last winter a major announcement was in the works for the pad, but that has yet to be revealed.
She also said staff intended to start construction on the pad as early as this summer. It was at risk of losing time donations and grant money if the project didn’t start within the six months to a year as of earlier this year.
Still, Glysch and Endres Way concurred the community sees the need for each project now more than ever — even as people prioritize their health and their families over anything else.
The capital campaign for the new library was slated to conclude this June, punctuated by a joint Oregon Village Board and Library Board meeting scheduled for June 15 to determine the next steps in the design process. As of last week, raised funds sit at $1.2 million — just over a fourth of the way to the community’s $4 million goal. The village contributed $6 million last year.
Endres Way said that the meeting is still happening, but the discussion will look slightly different — officials and trustees will talk about the budget and a new project timeline. Endres Way conjectured construction is delayed by at least a year and a half.
As for the Jaycee Park West renovation, Glysch said, he’s still optimistic about reaching the $500,000 community fundraising goal. Funds for that project remain at the halfway point — around $250,000. Glysch said he originally anticipated meeting the $500,000 mark by mid-2020.
The Jaycee Park West project will undergo a joint meeting with Oregon’s sports clubs in either July or August, Glysch said, to determine the next steps in budgeting.