Outdoor Courts at the Y – Project Update, September 7, 2017

Much has happened since the last communication to you all about the status of the Outdoor Courts at the Y project. Your committed ODC Implementation Committee has been working hard to bring this project to fruition.

Many of you have received bits and pieces of information but hopefully, I can fill in the gaps of where we are and where we need to go. The really good news is that you all continue to move forward with fundraising efforts which is just an outstanding show of support! Events like our work at the Eagles, commitment to the Super One “Dawg House” individual and corporate contributions and a grant request to the Blandin Foundation have continued to move us along. We currently are at about $264,000 in cash and pledges toward our goal! Now very frankly, the goal is a bit of a moving target as we have added some costs and have chosen to remove some costs. Let me explain; we have been given strong indications from the Hawkinson Construction Company that they expect to be very aggressive with the pricing on the bid for the construction of the courts. The price of crude oil, which is the base for asphalt, is at a 10 year low. This led us to calculate, along with Hawkinson and our Engineering Firm S.E.H. to comfortably reduce our construction estimate by about 6%. We also chose to remove the cost of providing drinking water to the site. (For $12,000 dollars for this, we thought we can bring our own bottled water) This anyway, got us to a new total of about $308,000.

Since we calculated the new total of $308K, considerable discussion and interest from the Pickleball side of the ODC family around lighting the PB courts, took place. (We were already planning to light the BB court). The rational for lighting the PB courts was/is strong enough for us to ask S.E.H. for a cost estimate . They did and after considerable discussion at a meeting Carol Perrot attended, came back with a calculated cost of around $90,000. This issue affects the entire ODC facility. The high cost is driven by the need to have special outdoor athletic area lighting, including taller light standards, different lights etc. We initially thought that run of the mill streetlight style illumination would be sufficient but indeed, it is not. This considerable cost addition is more than we are prepared to consider funding at this time (or phase of the project) so we asked for the minimal cost to at least prepare the courts for future illumination. S.E.H. believes we can at least prepare the area for lighting for $3500, so we believe we need to do the minimum to avoid tearing up the ODC in the future once we secure additional funding in the future . This new cost leads us to a new financial goal of $311,500.


We have met with the Itasca County Family YMCA Board and brought them up to date on the project. They are on board with the project but have questions on how we move forward with the available funding in our account. (About 60% of our funding is currently pledged as opposed to available cash) We have a signed contract with S.E.H. , approved by all collaborative partners, including the Y Board.
S.E.H then, was directed to move forward with preparing the bid specs necessary to give to the contractors to allow them to calculate and prepared an accurate bid. S.E.H has now completed that work and Friday of this week, we will meet once again to review and give final approval of the specs. Next week, they go to the contractors. Based on what they come back with, we will know what parts of the project we can afford to complete this fall. We do not anticipate having enough funding to complete the entire project this year but hopefully, the cost estimates that we receive, will be such that we will be able to at least, get the base done with the first course of asphalt, to take advantage of the current low cost on asphalt.

Discussions are underway to look at how to move the project forward once the total amount needed is either in the bank, and or pledged. In the bank is obviously not an issue but bridging the gap between the pledged amounts and the time when the pledges are paid, needs some thought. More to follow on this at a later date.


Well, we are currently around $48,000 short in financial pledges and/or contributions. Any additional contributions to reduce this shortfall would be greatly appreciated. Any acceleration in your pledge payments would certainly help as well. New contributions can be arranged simply by contacting any of the individuals below and they will be happy to forward to you the ODC at the Y pledge form or any other project information. Please remember that all contributions are tax deductible and can indeed be paid over a two year period. PLUS your name will appear on a donor plaque once the courts are completed.

Monica Beighley   218-398-001          Sue Koprowski 612-710-3984
Joni Namyst   218-327-1161                 Kay Dugas 218-244-3044
Troy Gunderson  218-2320291            Patty Clusiau 218-259-1406

Should you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact Bob Holycross at 218-244-8289 or or me, Steve Feyma at 218-259-5684 or We thank you for your terrific support and enthusiasm.