Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

Grant application for auditorium resubmitted

By Xiomara Levsen | Jul 28, 2014

A second application for an auditorium to be built at Washington High School has been submitted to Vision Iowa on July 15.
In this application there were two significant changes made compared to the last application. The amount of money the committee is asking for has been downsized and the name for the auditorium has changed, said Jan Gallagher co-chairperson of the new auditorium committee.
“We asked for $900,000 in this grant,” Gallagher said. “We went for less because last time the Vision Iowa group criticized the fact that we were asking for more from them than what the bond vote was for. One lady in particular asked why we were doing that and Ed Raber answered her wonderfully. He said it was because the bond vote hadn’t passed in 52 years.”
Asking for a downsized amount means the committee will have to raise an additional $425,000, but the committee remains optimistic about raising this additional amount, Gallagher said.
“There are a lot of people we need to talk to yet,” she said.
The new name for the auditorium has been changed to the Washington Area Performing Arts and Event Center on the application, Gallagher said.
“Our grant writer [Katherine Ollendeck] met with some of the Vision Iowa office staff, and they suggested some things to her,” Gallagher said. “This was partly with their blessing.”
The committee came up with a couple of suggestions, but this is the one they liked the best.
“We wanted something to define what we wanted to do,” Gallagher said.
This change is unofficial, Gallagher said. She would like to have the committee still coordinate with the Washington Riverboat Foundation on the name because they have given the highest amount to the project.
Washington Community School District Superintendent Dr. Mike Jorgensen said he heard the name was changed for the Vision Iowa grant.
“I know it was going to have more of a regional theme,” Jorgensen. “We’re OK with that.”
Vision Iowa doesn’t build buildings for schools, Jorgensen said. This change will help show the Vision Iowa board this will be more of a community building.
Now the auditorium committee will wait to hear from Vision Iowa, Jorgensen said.
“I don’t know when we’ll be up for reconsideration again for the grant, but our hope is we hear something by September,” he said.

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