Board OKs $25k for alumni pavilion

After the Ripon School Board decided Monday evening to hire Alumni Nations (see story at left), a firm to help the school district identify former students to possibly be solicited for fund-raising, the board addressed a related issue.

What to do with money if it is raised?

“People typically tend to be passionate and donate for a purpose,” board member Amy Pollesch said. “If we’re going to start this as a board, we probably need to define: What are we raising the money for?

“I get the ‘dig your well before you’re thirsty’ [concept], and as funds continue to diminish, that we need to have a plan in place. But for the kickoff of [Alumni Nations], it would be instrumental for our staff and for our administrators to look at this and go, ‘This is what we want our supporters and our community to get behind.’”

One prospect considered was a $175,000 alumni pavilion proposed for the old Ripon Middle School site.

After an almost hour-long discussion, the School Board voted 5 to 3 to set aside $25,000 to support the pavilion after the remaining $150,000 is raised by the private sector. Board members voting yes were Tom Stellmacher, Gary Rodman, Josh Rieder, Andy Lyke and Pollesch; voting no were John Sperger, Nicole Kutz Menard and David Scott. David Olson was absent.

An ad hoc Pavilion Steering Committee has proposed building the pavilion — partly using art deco materials from the middle school — for picnics and other social events.

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