Sylvan Lake will soon have its iconic lighthouse back, with fundraising for the Sylvan Lake Rotary Club’s Lighthouse Project now picking up steam.
With funding fully in place, construction on a new lighthouse could begin in spring 2015.
Project committee chair Trevor Sigfusson said the $200,000 to $250,000 estimated cost of the structure is “very preliminary” and subject to change. With the community’s help, however, he feels the project will come to fruition sooner rather than later.
“We’ve had a few bigger donors, and other than that it’s been smaller fundraising that’s really been catching speed,” he said.
He admits there’s still “a long way to go” in fundraising for the project, but said it’s been helped by the sales of commemorative bricks that will form the foundation of the new lighthouse.
Bricks are being sold in various sizes and costs, and may be personalized with names or messages.
Overall, the project is progressing at a good pace, Sigfusson feels.
“We just recently received the geological report, and that was kind of the key to moving forward with everything,” he said. “We had a lot of concept design done, but we couldn’t really move ahead on engineering until we got that geological report telling us exactly what the ground underneath the lighthouse is all about so that we can design and build to that.”
The new lighthouse will be situated in the same spot as the original one — which was built in 1988 and demolished in 2013 — inside the Town’s new Lighthouse Park just north of the marina.
The project is being undertaken by a committee made up primarily of Rotary Club members. But with several committee members set to jet off to warmer climates for the winter, more are currently being sought.
“That’s going to cut our group in about half, so we’re actively looking for anyone who would be interested in helping out,” said Sigfusson.
The committee is also seeking donations and sponsorships of all sizes for the project. As well as being able to purchase a commemorative brick, there are many other ways community members can contribute, said Sigfusson, adding the project is held dearly by many.
“If you take a look around at advertising from Sylvan Lake businesses, you’ll see the (original) lighthouse on almost every piece of advertising, so it’s very identifiable to the town,” he said. “The more we get into it, the more people we find that have some sort of a connection to it.”
For more information on donating to the project or joining the committee, contact Sigfusson at 403-598-1034.