Haller Foundation contributes $40K toward Sequim CTE effort

Grant to aid in getting state help for vocational facility

SEQUIM — The local effort by school and local business leaders to secure funding for a vocational facility in Sequim got a boost in mid-December from the Albert Haller Foundation.

Board members with the foundation agreed on Dec. 14 to pledge $40,000 in funding toward construction of a Career Technical Education facility.

School administrators and business entities such as Sequim Sunrise Rotary and Clallam Economic Development Council seek to raise $1 million in local funds to show community interest as they work with state Sen. Lisa Wellman to bring a proposed $15 million vocational center to the main Sequim High School campus.

In a December press release, foundation board members commented on the scarcity of qualified service workers in vocational fields such as building construction, manufacturing and health care, and that “Albert Haller would surely have supported this proposal.”

Ned Floeter, director of Sequim School District’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes, has said that Wellman expressed interest in the venture but wanted to see $1 million in community support.

“She [Wellman] is making this a primary issue for her in this next legislative session,” noted EDC executive director Colleen McAleer at a CTE general advisory committee meeting in October.

The proposed vocational facility and emergency shelter would be 100 feet by 200 feet, with three open bays of 40 feet by 100 feet, along with two fully resourced classrooms, restrooms and showers and a full, restaurant-grade kitchen.

The secondary purpose of the facility, Floeter noted, would be an emergency/crisis management center, with other possible uses being large community events.

Having the facility open to use as an emergency center can help get federal funding down the line, he said.

The proposed site would be on the district’s northeast corner at North Sequim Avenue and West Hendrickson Road.

The Albert Haller Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed in 1992 to help fund charitable programs throughout Clallam County, is primarily focused on education, family and medical services. It annually gives six-figure donations to local community groups and efforts.

In the nearly three decades of giving, the foundation has donated about $10 million.

A five-member board — one that includes superintendents from Sequim and Port Angeles school districts — oversees the foundation’s funds that started with about $9.2 million from Haller’s estate in 1992.

Born in Port Angeles in 1903 to Sequim Valley pioneers Max and Anna Haller, Albert Haller was a longtime logger who, with his wife Anna, were at one time the largest independent land owners in Clallam County.

In 1989, he proposed the charitable foundation, and two years later, it was formed. He died in 1992.

For more about the foundation, see alberthallerfoundation.org.

________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

Terry Ward, publisher of the Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum, is chairman of the Clallam County Economic Development Corp. board of directors.

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