The Power of People United

front view of Jasper High School

Economic development: the process by which the economic well-being and quality of life of community are improved. 

In Pipestone County, part of that process is the redevelopment and reuse of the Jasper School and Bauman Hall. In 5 years, Reclaim Community has raised $215,000 used for repairs, grantwriting and maintenance of these buildings. Just ONE FOURTH of the cost of demolition of Central School has allowed us to not only save taxpayers ANOTHER near million in demolition costs, but incrementally and affordably lay the foundational work needed to get these two buildings back into use. These unique historic places will be a center for economic opportunity, for housing, affordable business incubation, increased tourism and growing community wealth. 

By investing INTO existing resources, as good stewards of what is already here, we will save taxpayer money AND open up new avenues for income. As we continue to receive MNHS grants for repairs, and complete reuse studies into what specific business and housing activities are the best fit for the county, we will also attract additional public and private investment. 

We know that it can be hard for the public to really see all the work that is going on constantly behind the scenes, but just know that your patience is paying off. With this latest $75,000 grant from the Minnesota Historical Society to complete our Historic Structure Report, it means your donation dollars over the last 5 years have been MORE than matched by the state. Your investment and support has been recognized by the Historical Society, Rethos (formerly Preservation Alliance), and people at the state level are watching the example we are setting, and it makes them MORE likely to continue to fund projects here. We have been asked to participate in the policy discussions on extending the Historic Tax Credit, which is a vital incentive to responsible caretaking of historic buildings, and economic growth and affordable housing across the state, as preservation is one of the most powerful revitalization tools that any community can have. It consistently has a greater return on investment, creates more jobs, more business, greater property values and more investment than new construction, in 100% of the studies that have researched this across the nation. 

Our heartfelt thanks to those of you that have already contributed to our Giving Tuesday $15,000 goal – funds to enable us to effectively manage our new $75,000 large grant for a Historic Structure Report, and the consultants, architects and engineers who will be hired. We would like to ask anyone who has not yet donated to consider joining our cause. We have raised almost $1,000 in just a few days. If each follower on our Facebook page donated just $28 dollars, we would have this goal met already. Is that too much, to avoid watching the destruction of another unique historic building, and the loss of an asset whose replacement valuation is $30-35 million dollars?

Is it worth $6 to avoid wasted time, money, and the sadness that we all experienced this year watching Central School come down? With extra funds, any small repairs we can make now will prevent the less expensive renovation will be once we can apply for major construction funds. These buildings need to be kept free of leaks, vandalism, and deterioration. If each resident of Pipestone County (9,087) were to donate JUST $110, we would raise ONE MILLION DOLLARS- to immediately develop design plans, complete a reuse study, AND make adequate repairs to lease parts of the school to begin earning income right away. One million would repair the roof, HVAC and plumbing. That is a totally doable number . See how powerful we are when we work together?

What is it worth to you to be a part of this kind of economic progress? I think that is a small price to pay to avoid more economic drain and opportunities lost. And we want YOU, the community members to help us by bringing YOUR creativity and ideas to the process. What business have you dreamed of starting? What services would support YOUR family? We need to hear it. Please consider coming to our upcoming volunteer meetings and forums. 

If you haven’t yet, please consider donating something, and challenging your family and friends to match it. This goal is completely reachable. We need you!

Check out our Facebook page for giveaway incentives, or give via PayPal, or sign up to donate via Patreon to receive special supporter gifts in return for your monthly membership gift. Transformation takes time and committed supporters!

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