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Posted on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Ypsilanti's Rutherford Pool reopening could be pushed back to 2014 unless $125K is raised

By Katrease Stafford

Rising construction costs could set back the rebuild of Ypsilanti’s municipal Rutherford Pool unless an additional $125,000 is raised before the end of January.

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An additional $125,000 must be raised for the rebuild of Rutherford Pool to take place.

Although Friends of the Rutherford Pool Board chair John Weiss said he is confident the funds can be raised, he isn’t sure if that number will be met before the end of January.

Rutherford Pool, at 975 N. Congress, is owned and was operated by the city for many years. In 2004, the Friends of the Rutherford Pool, a newly formed nonprofit group, began operating it on behalf of the city. But a lack of funds for necessary repairs forced the pool to close at the end of the 2011 season.

In a little more than 18 months, the Friends group has raised about $813,000.

Originally, the group set a goal of raising $750,000, an amount that it originally estimated as a solid goal to begin the rebuild, but a number of items have developed that required the group to raise an additional $190,000.

During the past couple of weeks the group has raised about $65,000 in additional funds, knocking the total amount needed down to $125,000.

Weiss said the Friends received a $25,000 donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which had already donated $45,000, a $25,000 donation from a private donor and a few others. Bank of Ann Arbor also pledged $5,000 in the past two weeks.

The additional funds were needed because the pool construction estimates received 18 months ago have gone up more than 15 percent. Weiss attributes part of the increase to an improving economy, that resulted in capital projects, like a pool, costing more than it did in 2011.

"The cost of the pool has gone up significantly," Weiss said "The previous quote was $120 per square foot and now it's $150."

In addition to that, a 300-square-foot addition to hold mechanical equipment must now be added. Weiss estimates that addition will cost nearly $45,000. Also needed is a contingency fund, which is a requirement of the city, before the rebuild can take place.

Weiss said if the funds aren't raised before the end of January, the reopening of the pool could possibly be pushed back another year into 2014. If the funds are raised, Weiss said the target is to open by Memorial Day or at the latest, by the Fourth of July.

"It’s a very important project," Weiss said. "You might think a pool is just nice to have, but it is an important part of a kid's summer. For the local children and youth and for many who don’t have a place to recreate during the summer, I've really been emphasizing the impact of the pool."

Weiss noted that youths make up about 70 percent of the pool users.

The pool renovation was originally scheduled to be completed this year. The plan had been to begin the bidding process in March and have the pool open by June 15. But the work had to be delayed when state grant money for the project became tied up in the legislative process.

In 2011, the city applied for and received a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to go toward the renovation project.

One of the grant's stipulations is that the pool must be completed by August 2014.

The Friends have hired Kadushin Associates, an Ann Arbor-based architecture and design firm, to do the consulting and design work for the project. Early projections show the Friends will likely pay The design and construction oversight services will cost $66,000 for the firm's consulting services.

Weiss said Kadushin is now partnering with Water Technology, Inc., an aquatic design firm based out of Milwaukee, to design the pool. WTI has designed other pools in the area.

More than 200 community leaders and members have contributed to the project and donated time and money to push the project forward, he said.

"We have a long list of people that we’re going to ask for support," Weiss said. "We're working desperately to make sure that doesn't happen. (Not having the pool) really demonstrated to the community how important of an asset it is."

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


Honest Abe

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

Another $125K? So let me ask this.....why would you start something, not knowing if you have the money or not? Could you buy a car without having the cash or financing? NO! I would rather see $750,000.00 go towards hiring more police and fire than something that's not a necessity plus it's used 3 1/2 months yearly, and especially in a city that is facing economic troubles already. There are PLENTY of places to swim in the local area. Even if the pool funding is coming from donation, grants or whatever, it's just frustrating that I will probably read in the future about a new pool being open followed by an article about another police officer of fire fighter position being eliminated.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

If you can find a pool builder with experience, thats is willing to build it for less we would love to hear from them.

Honest Abe

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

I'm sure they can find someone to do the work for the budgeted $750K.

Honest Abe

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

Yes, it would appear that way. But in actuality it hasn't.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

The article actually answers your question.

Jeffersonian Liberal

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

Another huge waste of money. How did the pool get in this shape in the first place? Little Detroit is another museum of progressive liberalism. The Democrats have controlled this city and township for decades, and what do they have to show for it? The place is a broke dysfunctional mess, property taxes are higher than Ann Arbor and what are you getting for that?


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

How did the pool get this way? Outdoor pools in the midwest last about 20-25 years. Rutherford was built in 1971. I'd say we did a good job of keeping it together as long as we did. -Eric -Pool Manager

Honest Abe

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Jefferson, you're nailing it on the head! I have to stop here though because I will do nothing except bash the democraps and the extreme left leaning liberal rubbish that is out here.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Two thumbs up to John Weiss and others who are moving this project forward. I have donated and will continue to support the pool. It is a necessity in the neighborhood and the city.


Fri, Nov 30, 2012 : 2 p.m.

I love that pool! I hope we can get the necessary donations!