Build a bathhouse.
That’s the prime directive for a recently formed committee of Syracuse citizens.
The members of the Pool Bathhouse Committee, formed about a month ago, have already done significant work toward creating a plan vital to actualizing the mission.
Jamy Prokopec, Syracuse pool manager and chairperson of the committee, joined fellow committee member Carolyn Gigstad, to address the Syracuse City Council about the project at is regular meeting on Wednesday night at City Hall.
A document, the Suggested Syracuse Aqua Center Bathhouse Timeline, was circulated at the meeting.
That document laid out grant possibilities, fund raising windows and a possible construction timeline that had the new bathhouse opening in May of 2021.
Gigstad told the council members that investment was key. By showing an investment, Gigstad said the project was more likely to receive grant funding.
Gigstad also said she was confident in the investment of the city government and of Syracuse citizens in making the project a reality.
Gigstad said the City of Syracuse has $150K for funding design and construction of the project.
With a total price tag of in the $560K range and a one-to-one match required for grants, that leaves some work to be done, but if past results are an indicator, raising the additional funds should not be a problem at all.
Gigstad recalls a four-month fundraising projet for the playground equipment at the Syracuse ball complex which raised about 80 percent of a $120K goal in just four months.
The plan that the Pool Bathhouse Committee put together was enthusiastically received by the city council members and will no doubt create a great and positive energy behind the project.
The committee will continue to build on that momentum in the coming months by giving the public a chance to see and ask questions about the plan and also to commit to donations.
A date has not been finalized, but a public meeting is being planned for just that purpose.
Meanwhile, fundraising is already under way.
In its timeline document, the Pool Bathhouse Committee has already indicated a period of “soft fundraising” and Syracuse residents inspired by the efforts can already make donations.
Those who would like to contribute to the project can do so by sending a check to: Syracuse Foundation, P.O. Box 41, Syracuse, NE, 68466. The memo line of checks should indicate pool bathhouse.
Those who contribute at the $1,000-plus level will receive a letter indicating the contribution as being tax deductible.
All contributions to the project are tax deductible.  
Gigstad noted that there will be a plan generated that will indicate tiers for donations. Gigstad and Prokopec said that the committee has generated number of other  fundraising ideas as well.

Why a bathhouse?
The existing bathhouse structure is a half century old and no longer meets the needs of patrons.
Among the problems at the bathhouse are safety issues, a lack or privacy for bathers and limited restroom facilities.
The city of Syracuse has been aware of the issues and has been looking into solutions for some time.
Prokopec has had discussions with the city council members but the plan was lacking and that made it hard for the city to move forward to correct issues.
“It wasn’t that they didn’t want to. They needed a plan,” said Gigstad said of the council.
The nine-member committee’s action plan corrects that status.
Joining Gigstad and Prokopec on the committee are Becki Neemann, Julie Beach, Deanna Reichmuth, Jo Weiler, Rachel Zahn, Katy Zahn and Jen Block.
The committee has met twice and is seeking a date soon for another meeting.
Join in on the discussion by visiting the Facebook page: Syracuse Pool Bathhouse.