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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Pool receives grant; project goal met

  • Sarkeys Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life in Oklahoma, approved a $150,000 grant to the Shawnee Community Foundation for the benefit of the New Municipal Pool Project.
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  • Sarkeys Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life in Oklahoma, approved a $150,000 grant to the Shawnee Community Foundation for the benefit of the New Municipal Pool Project.
    City commission awarded the project contract to Branco Enterprises, in the amount of $3.67 million. Natalie Carns, Sarkeys Foundation Program Officer, said funds would help provide residents a quality recreational facility the entire family can experience.
    “The grant will go toward the overall construction of the municipal pool, replacing the 78-year-old facility that had to be closed down after the 2012 swim season,” Carns said.
    In a memo to the mayor and city commissioners, City Director of Operations James Bryce noted construction would be funded by a city loan, an Avedis Foundation challenge grant and private funds.
    The project goal called for approximately $4.2 million. City contribution totaled $3 million. The pool committee collected the remaining, approximate $1.2 million with the help of the Avedis Foundation challenge grant, which matched half of the remaining goal.
    John Ayres, pool committee chairman, explained the Sarkeys grant was part of the Avedis challenge. He also said the project goal has now been met.
    “We’re within budget of the contractor, but we still encourage funds to come in,” Ayres said.
    If additional funds remain after completion of the pool project, it is expected said funds would go toward the construction of a splash pad. Terry West, Sarkeys Foundation Lifetime Trustee and founder of The West Law Firm in Shawnee, has long been invested in the health and development of the splash pad and pool.
    “A few years ago, when the city announced the pool was in bad shape, I became interested,” West explained.
    For 25 years, West witnessed kids pass by his office window on their way to the pool.
    “The idea of them not having that seemed terrible to me,” West said.
    The next two largest Avedis challenge donors are Citizen Potawatomi Nation, in the amount of $100,000, and Pottawatomie County, in the amount of $50,000. Ayres said the goal was reached with the aid of 148 donors.
    While an exact start date of construction is dependent on the contractor’s schedule, Bryce said the project could begin as early as mid-June or July.
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