Osage day care floor plan

The floor plan for the new Osage Community Daycare.

OSAGE | Despite not receiving a grant from the State of Iowa for a new day care, the Osage Community Daycare Board of Directors in conjunction with the Osage City Council kicked off a second round fundraising campaign on Wednesday, Dec. 6, with tours of the current facility located at 915 Pine St., Osage.

On Jan. 18, 2017, the Osage Community Daycare Board submitted an application for a $600,000 grant from the Community Development Block Grant funds from the State of Iowa for their proposed new facility project, which it did not receive. The estimated cost for the project is $1.45 million.

Applications for an additional $360,000 loan from the USDA and Osage Municipal Utilities had been submitted. OMU would be responsible for $60,000 of that loan. In December, initial fundraising, to be used as a match for the state grant, had netted $230,000 from businesses, organizations and private donations. The City of Osage had pledged $120,000 toward the project as well. An estimated $448,105 is still needed to be raised for the new facility to be debt free.

“From the city’s standpoint, we look at economic development in our community from day to day, and nothing is more basic to economic development than day care,” said Osage Mayor Steve Cooper. “When people who are moving here call City Hall, they ask about day care.”

During the Sept. 25 meeting of the Osage City Council, members unanimously voted to offer a 2-to-1 fundraising match for the Osage Community Daycare Project. The cap on the city’s match has not yet been determined by the council.

At the kickoff, Osage Community Daycare Director, Shelley Parks said there was a need for a new facility because the current building needed a new roof, a repaved parking lot, and an overall major remodel.

The location of the new day care would be on the northwest corner of the block, where Lincoln Elementary is located.

“We are excited to be a part of this project,” said Barb Schwamman, Superintendent of Osage Schools. “Using some of our space just makes good sense.”

“Our growth has outpaced our resources,” said Jennifer Andrade, Director of Mitchell County Economic Development. “If we don’t do this we can’t recruit new families.”

Asked about the current schedule for the project, Parks said, “We are planning on doing bids in February and break ground in May. The current plan is to have the building completed by mid-December of 2018.”

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