NSH, Your pole, is it a pipe or a beam? Your project needs to be a win for the wife, then you. Start with her area first and keep the project small scale.
Rule # 1..... Happy wife ... Happy Life
I have decided to start with the laundry room and attached furnace area, encompassing about 1/3 of my basement. That way my wife won't be overwhelemd by the scope of the project and I can tinker evenings and weekends and still get out for a break. My workshop makeover will be last, my reward
As Scuba says, if you have 2 dehumidifiers going you want to be cautious about future moisture issues.
Why not plan out a laundry room, paint the floor for now, hang some cabinets and put in a counter top with folding area. Box over the sump but leave access around it.
Pace yourself, you don't want to wear down this early and be tired going back to school