Propeller crowdfunding surpasses goal

A crowdfunding campaign to help beautify and improve the Columbus Propeller facility has exceeded its $50,000 goal.

More than 100 donors contributed more than $72,000 for the effort, Propeller leaders said.

Since the campaign hit $50,000 before its Jan. 16 deadline, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s “CreatINg Places” matching grant program will provide another $50,000 to the effort.

Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Frey said that the total amount is estimated at about $122,000 to $125,000, which includes some checks that were mailed in after the fact or are still expected.

“We’re really humbled by the number of people that came forward to help,” said Frey, who looks forward to transforming the makerspace into an airpark destination using plans drawn up by Landscape, Art & Architecture Office.

“We’ll be able to invest more than $122,000 into a freshly-painted façade, dramatic lighting, street mural, wayfinding, landscaping, and signage, to create dynamic outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed by our entire community,” Propeller leadership said. “This fun and flexible space will host cookouts, concerts, food trucks, workshops and more.”

According to Propeller President Bryan Rushton, the group hopes to begin work on some aspects of the project this year.

Some of the items on the to-do-list are more likely to be done in spring, though there is work that can be done this winter, Frey said. Propeller leaders also hope that volunteers might help with tasks such as making planter boxes or painting the street mural.

Having extra funds from the campaign means that Propeller may be able to accomplish more items from its wishlist, such as adding a greenhouse if there’s enough surplus, Frey said.

“We’re really excited,” said Rushton. “We’re grateful and really ready to celebrate.”