Miller happily boosts Barracudas, pool effort from sidelines – just don’t ask her to get in the water |

Miller happily boosts Barracudas, pool effort from sidelines – just don’t ask her to get in the water

Even though she’s now best known locally for being the driving force behind the Aquatic Center fund-raising drive, Terri Miller isn’t even a swimmer. But she feels the pool is an important piece of the community.

“I think the Community Center, since it’s opened, has done so much for community pride,” she said.

The 43-year-old mother of three grew up in Bedford Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. She attended Ohio State University, where she majored in journalism, specializing in public relations.

“I got to meet George Steinbrenner; he was so conservative and nice,” Miller said of a sportswriting assignment she had while in college on the Columbus Clippers, a New York Yankees farm team.

After college, Miller married high school sweetheart Scott Miller. The two left Ohio because “we just wanted to do something different,” and went to El Paso, Texas.

“We were right on the border; we could see people moving back and forth,” she said.

In El Paso, Terri worked for American Airlines.

“That’s how we used to get tickets to go back and forth to see family,” she said of the job.

Later the Millers moved to Lubbock, Texas, where she was the editor of publications for a hospital. Her husband was working as a civil engineer at the time, a job that brought them up to Glenwood Springs in 1989.

“We moved out so he could do engineering on the canyon, then he started his own company,” she said.

The couple now lives in Glenwood Springs and runs S2M Construction Company and WestCo Concrete Pumping. While Terri considers herself mostly a mom, she does the payroll and invoicing for their two companies. The couple has three kids, 14-year-old twins Stacey and Matthew and 12-year-old Nathan.

Along with those duties, Miller also contributes a lot of her time to doing volunteer work, which, over the years, has included working with the Twins’ Club, volunteering at her kids’ schools, teaching religious education and sitting on the board of the Sopris Barracudas swim team.

That last group is how Terri became involved in fund-raising for the pool. Stacey and Nathan swim on the team.

“I remember being here 12 years ago and thinking this is a little town, but they were talking about the Community Center back then,” she said.

In the years since, the center has become a reality, but the Aquatic Center still is a dream.

It is for that reason that “Friends of the Community Center” was formed. In it, leaders from both the pool group and a group pushing for a proposed theater came together and decided it would be wiser politically to work together than to fight against each other.

So the decision was made to first build the pool, then the theater. They will be looked at as phases two and three of the Community Center, the first phase being what already is built on Wulfsohn Ranch.

The city of Glenwood Springs has already pledged to provide $750,000 for the project and the pool fund-raisers have added about $425,000 to that, leaving about $2 million for to raise for the competitive and leisure pool, estimated to cost $3.2 million.

“Last April the Barracudas started raising money,” Miller said. “I feel strongly that this is going to work.”

She said the coming weeks are “crunch time” in the fund-raising effort. The Glenwood Springs City Council even proclaimed April 29 through May 13 as the official fund-raising time for the Friends of the Community Center.

“I think we’ve done all that we can and it’s kind of up to the community to respond,” she said.

The fund-raising drive is nicknamed LAP, a play on the pool that stands for Let’s All Pledge.

“May 13 isn’t the end of when you can contribute, it’s just kind of when we’re hitting the public.”

The group is also awaiting word back on some grants it has applied for.

“They have a potential of a half-million” dollars in additional funding, she said. “We’ll probably be writing more grants.”

Later this week, the group will also be sending out about 5,100 letters asking for pledges from citizens and businesses in the area.

If all goes really well, construction could begin on the pool as early as September, she said.

“It would be wonderful to break ground by September and I have faith that we will.”

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