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Posted on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 9 a.m.

$51K needed to begin Ypsilanti's Rutherford Pool construction by May

By Katrease Stafford


This illustration shows what the new Rutherford Pool, at 975 N. Congress St. may look like when construction is completed.

Courtesy Friends of the Rutherford Pool

The Friends of Rutherford Pool are hopeful the rebuild of Ypsilanti's community pool can begin by May, but organizers said an additional $51,000 is needed before construction can start.

After a two-year fundraising effort that has raised nearly $1 million from more than 200 donors, the new pool at 975 N. Congress St, is finally nearing the construction phase.

Organizers have set an April 30 deadline to raise the final $51,000 to allow construction to go forward and the new pool to be available during the 2013 summer swimming season.

If the funds are raised, the pool could be open by Fourth of July weekend, weather permitting. The construction bids have been submitted and the city is going through final permit approval phases.

"We just have to keep our fingers crossed," Friends board member Lisa Wozniak said. "If we hit the fundraising goal, the city will sign on the dotted line and will be able to start construction immediately."

In February, reported that the Friends were $35,000 shy of their goal. Originally, the group's fundraising goal was $750,000 last year.

Wozniak said the projects costs have continued to increase over time because of pool construction estimates rising, the state's requirement of complying with prevailing wage laws.

Thumbnail image for Rutherford_Pool.jpg

Friends of the Rutherford Pool are hopeful construction will begin by May.

Brian Tell, a Friends board member, said pool construction estimates received 18 months ago have increased by more than 15 percent.

"Part of this increase is due to a general improvement in the economy resulting in capital projects, like a pool, costing more than it did in 2011," Tell said.

Wozniak said the city has also required a contingency fund be set up before the rebuild can take place.

Although the Friends are overseeing the construction and gathering of funds, the city still owns the pool and has required the money be raised before construction begins.

Wozniak said the Friends are optimistic they will be able to raise the funds.

"We're looking at a $51,000 shortfall which could be seen as a huge cost, but frankly it's not because we’ve raised almost $1 million, Wozniak said. "...It has been a true from the ground up experience."

Several companies and businesses have donated funds to the cause including the University Bank of Ann Arbor's Kids B'Cause Program, the Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation, The Knight Foundation, the Buhr Family Foundation and countless others. The donations have ranged from $1,000 and below, all the way up to $25,000.

The city of Ypsilanti also is contributing $25,000.

Ypsilanti Township, the Community Foundation Ypsilanti Fund, Bank of Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Gene Butman Ford all donated $5,000 each.

"People have stepped up," Wozniak said. "It's just been incredible coming together for a project."

Wozniak said the pool is the "heart and soul" of Ypsilanti's summer time recreation.

"It's a place where a lot of kids go who don't have a place to be," Wozniak said. "I got involved in this because I thought it was not just an important facet of where I live, but for the kids of eastern Washtenaw County."

Donations can be made toward the Rutherford Pool project at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. Wozniak said donations also can still be made through the pool's Bricks R Us project.

Contributions, which are tax deductible, can be made by contacting Friends member John Weiss at, visiting or directly to the Rutherford Pool Fund at the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund, housed at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation at 301 N. Main St., Suite 300.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

1 million?! Really? Something smells a bit fishy to me! Anyone who thinks this is cynical is blind...I did a QUICK research on google at what a public pool should cost, at most 100,000 with at MOST 8,000 a year to run it. Sooooo, I understand saving back some to make sure the money is there for future maintenance. However, are people seriously not concerned about how much they "say" is needed?! I feel like they need to show exactly where the money is going if people are giving money to this.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:22 a.m.

Eye roll here. I think it is time to stop beating a dead horse. I am of the opinion it is time to close it and destroy it. Build a skate park or some spray water park, like the one at Independence. Cheaper and more cost effective. Sorry guys, but Rutherford has seen better days.


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

The Rutherford pool has been a wonderful positive outlet for the energy of many local kids, including my own who hope it will open this summer! We really missed it last summer.


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

I find it hard to believe a $1,000,000 isn't enough to build a pool. I guess a million dollars doesn't go as far as it used to. Good luck with your goal, I gave till it hurt years ago but stopped when I didn't see any action other then fund raising.


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

Agreed, cinnabar. I'd love to see the line item accounting of this project.


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

Honest Abe, If you have some specific information on corruption on this project, please share it with the rest of the community.


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

Wow. Such meanness and ignorance for a positive story. This pool is a good thing, done well by good people. Thank you, Friends of Rutherford Pool, for all that you've done to bring the project this far.

Honest Abe

Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

$1M would build a pool. Remember, pockets got to be 'padded' though.

Honest Abe

Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 3:26 p.m.

I'm sorry to say, but our city has more important things to worry about, than this.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

You know what? Get a bus and transport the children over t Rolling Hills or Lower Huron Metro or better yet?> Bus passes to Burh Park. Cheaper is then trying to resurrect this pool.


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

But you're going to donate anyway, right?


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

I'm sorry you feel that way, Honest Abe. The pool is more than just a place to get wet. It has provided kids with a safe and inexpensive way to spend their days. Parents discuss political and educational matters. Youth have learned to swim and then continue it as a life long sport. At least three of the lifeguards have used their skills in other settings when emergencies have arisen. The City and County have chipped in to assist but for the most part this is community driven. I hope you will stop by when it is up and running and partake in the enjoyment.

Katrease Stafford

Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Just received this additional information from the Friends: On the Friends of Rutherford Pool website (, there is now a link to Network for Good. By following that link, donors can contribute $10 or more by using a credit card, debit card or Paypal account. Supporters can also buy a small or large engraved brick as a way to contribute, for $125 or $250. More information about that is available at


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:24 a.m.

That is nice and all, but if you do the math? You will need at 25,000 or more for that brick. In this bad economic times, I can see the horse being buried rather then resurrected.


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Have they considered Kickstart?


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

Sorry Kickstarter.


Fri, Apr 5, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Friends of Rutherford Pool are having a yard sale at the pool on Saturday, April 6 from 10-4pm. Donation of goods are being accepted today at the site from 2-6pm.