LAHAINA - The Lahainaluna High School Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign to meet a shortfall in its stadium budget.
Early estimates had been nearly double the current construction budget of $8.5 million.
Jeff Rogers of the foundation provided an update on the stadium project.
Construction of new bleachers at the Lahainaluna High School Stadium is underway.
"Hawaiian Dredging has started pouring the bleachers, and the concrete portion should be done by July 1. At that time, the aluminum seating installers come in, and they will be done by the end of July.
"The entry building, which contains the bathrooms, a small office and the restrooms, will be underway soon."
LHSF's goal is to raise at least $120,000 through sponsorships of the aluminum stadium seats. Each donation of $1,000 will sponsor one row of seats. The donor's name, business name or graduating class will be imprinted on two nameplates that will be permanently affixed to a row of bleacher seats.
The Lahainaluna High School Stadium is the culmination of more than seven years of dedication and hard work by the foundation's current and past board members, executive directors and volunteers, and the generosity of local businesses and individuals through in-kind and cash donations.
Sue Cooley, a part-time West Maui resident, has made this project a reality by providing $6,500,000 in support, which accounts for 77 percent of the total funding.
A State of Hawaii Grant-in-Aid for $1,700,000 was approved in 2010, and the foundation expects the money to be released within the next few weeks. This accounts for 20 percent of the total funding.
Changes in the building code, increases in labor and materials, and other factors have increased the expected cost of the stadium from earlier projections.
The foundation now finds itself a little behind in what it needs to complete the project, Rogers said, so it is asking for the support of Lahainaluna alumni and the community to help out.
Lahainaluna alumni are encouraged to make a donation as individuals or on behalf of their graduating class. Donations will be tracked, and the progress will be posted on the foundation's website.
Several classes have already started sending in contributions; the Class of 1961 has exceeded its goal of $1,000.
Kaanapali Beach Hotel is supporting this effort by providing accommodations for a bench installation crew in July, saving the foundation approximately $7,500. Other supporters are encouraged to participate.
Donations can be made online at www.lahainalunahighschoolfoundation.org or mailed to LHSF, P.O. Box 11617, Lahaina, HI 96761. Make checks payable to LHSF and designate the gift to your class year. Include instructions on how the nameplate should read if you are donating as an individual or business.
For more information, contact Rogers at LHSF08@yahoo.com or (808) 214-2839.
"The community has been very supportive of the project since it was announced back in 2007. Private donations, local grants and in-kind gifts have helped to get us where we are. The biggest portion of local donations has come from the brick paver program, with just over $100,000 to date. We hope the community will continue to support this project, especially at this time, since we are so close," Rogers concluded.