Dear LCCSC Capital Campaign Donor,

It is great to see spring arriving early to Lake Champlain this year. The UVM and high school dinghies are already rigged and ready to hit the water. I wanted to update you on the progress made by our Waterfront Construction and Capital Campaign Committees this winter.

Since my last update, the Waterfront Construction Committee has hired Kingsbury Construction Company as the primary contractor for the project. Kingsbury is reviewing plans and working with suppliers to get the materials we will need for the project on order. Our permits from the State of Vermont and the Army Corps of Engineers were issued last month. We are on schedule to start construction when sailing activities wrap up this fall. Keep your eyes open later this spring for a ‘Save the Date’ for our groundbreaking celebration. We expect the project will be started sometime around October 1st and completed by May 1st of 2024.

On the capital campaign front, we have reached some milestones and uncovered new opportunities. In the milestone category, we reached our initial $3.3 million goal last August, which is cause for celebration! It allowed us to completely pay down the remaining loan balance that we held on the building, so that debt and its ongoing interest is no longer a burden to the organization. We had the funds to pay for the engineering of the project, and have enough to get materials ordered for the fall.

In the new opportunity category, forecasted construction costs have risen 130% above originally budgeted due to materials and labor. This has impacted the construction cost, adding $2 million to our fundraising goal. Our work is not done, and we will continue to introduce our organization and this project to stakeholders and potential donors in the region. If you know of someone that you believe would be interested in helping us finish this campaign, please let me know, I’d love to reach out to them.

Over the winter, the capital campaign news swung to the good side again. We learned that the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission would be providing a $300,000 grant to the campaign this spring. We have submitted additional grant applications that – if funded – would get us to within $1 million of our goal. In the past four months we have already made significant progress towards bridging this gap, but we still have a way to go.

On behalf of the thousands of children and adults who access Lake Champlain through your Community Sailing Center each year, I appreciate your ongoing support of the project and of the sailing center. Hope to see you at one of our upcoming events this summer!

Doug Merrill,
Committee Chair