Raise the Red works to stay on track

Kelly Dwyer

BSM’s Raise the Red campaign has nearly completed one of its main projects, the outdoor campus. Meanwhile the school continues its $30 million, six-year campaign to finish the other three projects: the First Fund, tuition assistance, and the north building.

On all of the projects to date, BSM has raised $11,366,000, which is not on track for the $30 million goal over six years. According to the timeline, the school should have raised $15 million. However, the economy has taken a hit, and so has the fundraising. “Unlike many schools who started projects at the same time as us, they are stopping them, but we are continuing on even though it has been a slow process,” said Dr. Tift.

BSM is only about $800,000 away from raising all the money needed to finish construction on the outdoor campus, which includes the athletic fields, said Dr. Bob Tift. The outdoor campus was only the first of the four projects that BSM is focusing on in the Raise the Red campaign.

BSM’s goal is to raise $4.5 million dollars for the outdoor campus. Mr. Richard Olson, the Vice President of Advancement, said that the school has had many generous donors, especially the 94 donors who supplied $3,300,000 of the $3,700,000 raised to date. The other $400,000 was raised by 360 different donors.

They have made a lot of progress on the fields; however, there are still a few things left to be completed. “We still have to build the practice softball field, work on the old track, put up the visitor bleachers, and finish up the landscaping,” said Dr. Tift.

BSM also added two holding ponds. “We created a way to handle water flow for the north building and other future projects,” said Dr. Tift. They hope to have the fields finished within the next few months.

The First Fund, which is an annual project, was renamed a few years ago. “The first gift we want you to make to BSM as a parent or an alumni is to the First Fund,” said Mr. Olson.

This year their goal is to raise $1 million for the First Fund. The school needs the funds to pay for the almost $1,000 gap between each student’s tuition and the amount of money needed to operate the school, which leaves about a $1.4 million gap overall, said Mr. Olson.

BSM receives donations from parents, who are the main donors, as well as alumni, grandparents, friends, and teachers. The administration wants to focus on getting more donations from alumni, who now only contribute about 7 percent to the fund. The administration’s hope is that alumni will carry on and support BSM.

BSM advertises for the First Fund by mailings, phone calls, talking to people, and videos. The marketing department has now started to post videos on the website that focus on the main donor groups: parents, alumni, and grandparents.

After the completion of the fields, Mr. Olson said that BSM’s next focus will be on tuition assistance. Including tuition assistance in the Raise the Red campaign will greatly increase the number of students BSM can help, said Dr. Tift.

In three years, the tuition assistance project has raised $2,533,000, with the goal being to raise $1 million a year; currently they are about $500,000 behind on that goal for this year. However, the school plans to ride the rebounding economy and exceed the $194,000 raised last year.

The last project on the list for the campaign is the north building, which when completed will be the new junior high. The estimated price tag on this project is $12 million. To date, $1,103,000 has been raised, said Dr. Tift.

The plan for the new junior high is to tear down the existing north building and build the new one in its place, relocating the current offices housed in the north building near the main entrance. The junior high classrooms will be relocated to the new building, and the high school will gain eight classrooms, said Dr. Tift.