Christmas came early, with an unexpected shade of pink, for the Bondurant-Farrar (Iowa) school district.
The School Board and administration accepted a $3 million donation Monday night designated toward the construction of a high school football stadium. But the generous gift comes with a few strings attached.
The donors, recent $202 million Powerball Jackpot winners Brian and Mary Lohse, requested the project be completed before the fall 2014 football season and the visiting team’s locker room be painted pink.
The completion date makes sense, considering the Lohses’ oldest son, a sophomore Blue Jay on the football team, will graduates in spring 2015. As for the pink locker room, that was Mary Lohse’s sense of humor kicking in with an undying love of the Hawkeyes.
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“I was sort of half joking and half not I suppose, but they said they’d do it,” Mary Lohse said of her scheme, inspired by the University of Iowa visitor’s locker room of the same color.
“It’s supposed to put them in a certain soft frame of mind … it will certainly give all the players something to talk about,” she said.
The important thing is that they aren’t talking about the Lohse family, who also requested the stadium not be named after them. They said the stadium will be a community project and they expect local residents and groups to make other contributions.
“The school has been kind of a bedrock for our community and we appreciate all that it’s meant to our kids,” Brian Lohse said. “We’d like to look out for the school a little bit and hasten a project that’s already on the horizon.”
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Planning for the stadium has already begun between administrators and architects with SVPA, the local firm that was immediately approved for the project following the acceptance of the donation at the Monday board meeting.
School Board President Kristin Swift expressed gratitude for the unprecedented gift, noting it will significantly free up funding and accelerate other capital projects on the horizon, including an academic wing and a fine arts auditorium.
“It not only gives us the opportunity to accelerate the stadium project, but to advance other plans for projects within the district as well,” Swift said. “We’re very excited about this opportunity.
The $3 million for the stadium will be released in three $1 million increments on March 1, January 15, 2014 and January 15, 2015, according to the agreement.