Rutherford Pool construction contract approved; groundbreaking next
Editor's note: The name of the Knight foundation making a grant to this effort has been changed in addition to the type of contribution made by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.
The council unanimously approved the construction agreement between the city and a contractor for the rebuild.
With the signature of Mayor Paul Schreiber and City Clerk Frances McMullan on the contract, construction can begin immediately.
An exact date on a groundbreaking ceremony is expected to be determined Thursday during a pre-construction meeting with the contractor, city and the Friends.
The contract with Brighton-based Baruzzini Construction is for $844,000. In addition to the construction fees, other expenses include a $50,000 contingency fund, architectural services, fencing and site mapping -- all totaling $1,021,000.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
“It’s just a terrific item,” City Manager Ralph Lange said. “It’s just a fabulous job, and a small miracle (the Friends) can raise that much money and get that much support.”
The 40-year-old community pool at 975 N. Congress St. saw around 17,000 visits annually, and 150 families held passes before it closed. Daily visits during the summer ranged between 200 and 500.
Council Member Pete Murdock noted that Baruzzini is certified union. He and several other officials commended the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission for its $150,000 contribution to the Friends.
Council Member Dan Vogt said he wanted to repeat his praise for the Friends for their “unbelievable” fundraising effort.
"I’m tickled pink that we were able to get this pool going,” he said.
Schreiber said he was skeptical at first that the effort could be completed because of the amount of work involved, but said it turned into a “great project.”
City Attorney John Barr expressed similar thoughts about the roller-coaster fundraising effort.
‘It’s kind of like a phoenix - it would appear to die, then it would be resurrected,” he said. “I had my doubts as to whether it would be fulfilled, but the project got a lot of help from a lot of different people. They’re still raising money and there are bricks still available for purchase.”
At one point the Friends group found it needed to raise more money than anticipated because construction costs had increased during the fundraising effort. At another point a $300,000 grant awarded to the city on behalf of the friends from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund was delayed.
The list of donors who have helped make the project possible is extensive. It includes $75,000 from individual donors who wish to remain anonymous. The James A. & Faith Knight Foundation donated an additional $25,000 after previously donating $45,000, and the Buhr Family Foundation contributed another $15,000.
Ypsilanti Township, the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund, Bank of Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Gene Butman Ford all donated $5,000 each. The Rocket donated $1,000, and University Bank and Awesome Foundation each contribute. The Minister’s Alliance of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor raised more than $2,000 through collections from their congregations.
The city of Ypsilanti also is contributing $25,000.
The Friends group also has been selling engraved bricks displaying the names of those who donate either $125 or $250 to the cause, and so far raised more than $13,000.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the AnnArbor.com news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.