Swinerton In the News

Swinerton Builders: February 14, 2017

La Center students fundraising for climbing tower

Swinerton Builders put up $80,000 if students raise $20,000 by March 31.

For the last five months a group of about 20 La Center High School students have been meeting after school about once a week. Their purpose? To build a climbing tower on campus for the district and community.

Throughout this school year the students have developed the blueprint designs and have even brought Swinerton Builders, construction company out of Portland that is also currently building the ilani Casino, into the project. In a deal with Swinerton, the company will fund $80,000 of the $100,000 needed to make it happen if the La Center students can raise the remaining $20,000. The students have raised about $5,000, but with the project’s March 31 deadline approaching, they’ll need to make up $15,000 in a short month and a half.

Brian Zylstra is facilitator of the after school class working on the project. He said he’s really proud that they’ve been able to get the $5,000 so far, but it will take a big push for the final dollars.

“We've done a pass-the-hat fundraiser at the ilani Casino job site, had a Burgerville fundraiser, set up at Halloween and Christmas bazaars, held a handhold sponsorship drive, put on a benefit concert, started a GoFundMe page, and earned a grant from the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington,” he said.

The students are also selling La Center Wildcat decals for $5 at the high school office.

Zylstra said the class has planned a big “zip-a-thon” fundraiser on March 11 and 15 at their existing zipline structure. On those days students will get pledges to climb 30 feet in the air, cross three obstacles, and end by ziplining back down. Additionally, the class is still waiting to hear back about grants from the Ellison Foundation ($5,000) and the Safeway Foundation ($5,000) which would have a big impact on meeting their goal. The students hope to keep getting donations from the community via their GoFundMe which can be visited at .gofundme.com/LCClimbingTower.

If by March 31 the $20,000 is not reached Zylstra said the tower would probably still be able to be built, but likely not using the student's designs.

“It will need to be scaled down,” he said.

Scaled down or not, if a tower is to be constructed it would go up sometime in June.

“The students in the class have an amazing vision, and they have put in countless hours to make it a reality,” said Zylstra. “What these students are doing will be a point of pride in our school and community. As a teacher, I love to see our students get this real-world opportunity to show just how much they are capable of.”

As a class, the La Center students stated, “We want to build this tower to bring people together and help them overcome their fears. Our small town of La Center is growing quickly, and we want to provide students and community members opportunities to connect with each other, develop communication skills, and solve problems. The La Center Climbing Tower will provide for these needs.”

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