In only four weeks, the Whitefish Bay High School swim program was able to raise just over $200,000 to bring its pool into compliance with safety standards and once again host home swim meets.
The swimming pool renovation fundraiser reached , generating more than $100,000 from the community and another $110,000 from the Whitefish Bay School District for the purchase and installation of a moveable bulkhead.
Other donations came from the Whitefish Bay Public Education Foundation, , the Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation, Duke Pride, North Shore Swim Club, the Whitefish Bay High School Parent Association, parent-teacher organizations from , and and the Shorewood Swim Club.
An anonymous donor also chipped in matching funds totaling $50,000.
“To generate that kind of support from the community in just a one-month time period is great," said high school Activities Director John Gustavson. "It speaks highly of the level of support in the community.”
In addition to contributions from the district and community organizations, Gustavson said the fundraiser also received help from individual small donors, including a 150 Euro from a Saudi Arabian student that came to Whitefish Bay in 2001 through AFS.
One-month closure starts mid-May
Whitefish Bay High School swim coach Jim Davis said the pool will be closed from mid-May to mid-June, but it will not interfere with scheduled swim lessons and other programs. The pool needs to be closed for the racing lines to be painted in the pool, but other items, such as the bulkhead and the starting blocks, can be installed while the pool is open, he said.
A moveable bulkhead is a wall that would allow swimmers to launch from starting blocks at a deeper area of the pool, in the diving well. The moveable bulkhead would be positioned to allow six racing lanes in a direction perpendicular to the current racing lanes.
With the moveable bulkhead in place, the school would be able to host swim meets, invitationals and other events at the school, so the renovation plans also include the purchase of new starting blocks, a scoreboard and a timing system.
The deadline for the fundraiser was set for the end of February, allowing enough time for the parts to be ordered and installed to meet the construction timeline.
Davis also thanked Gustavson, Karla Walther, Genie Smith and Thea Durawa for their efforts in the fundraiser, as well as Nebbish Society members, swim parents, alumni and the community at large.
"To be able to do this and meet our deadline and raise that kind of money is great," he said. "It’s a great thing for us to know how we were supported."