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ELMA | The city of Elma has plans to renovate space, to be called the Elma Community Complex, located in the former Howard-Winneshiek School District’s elementary building, located in Elma.

The plans are to renovate the current gymnasium into a public library, along with a city Clerk’s office and multi-purpose room with a full kitchen. The estimated cost of the project is $1.5 million.

“Our next big project here in Elma is the Elma Community Complex,” said Bruce Weigel, committee member. “Our community has tackled several big projects in the past and we are optimistic we can do this one too. If we want young people to continue to want to live here we need to offer them the amenities they need and want. Having a clinic in town again, expanding our library and daycare and having them all in one location along with our city clerk’s office has tremendous advantages.”

The 50-person capacity multi-purpose room, with kitchen, will serve the needs of library programs, city council meetings, indoor play space for day care and could also be rented out for family gatherings, meetings, etc.

“Currently our library is about 2200 sq. ft. which includes the small meeting room. Moving the library to the gym would give us nearly 2900 sq. ft. plus access to a large multi-purpose room we will use for programing,” said Renee Burke, Elma Public Library Director. “I also see benefits to having the library next to the daycare and the bus stop for Howard-Winn bus and private Riceville bus.”

An addition to the Elma Early Childhood Center is also being planned for an infant room. The current infant room will be repurposed into a classroom for three-year-old preschool.

“These changes will allow us to more efficiently serve the needs of the children, improve the security and we look forward to the opportunities of having the library next door,” said Kayla Kraft, director of the nonprofit daycare.

Regional Health Services of Howard County will furnish and operate the clinic building being built on the same campus, south of the gymnasium. “We plan to operate the clinic similar to how we do in Lime Springs, said Kyle Teeling, Vice President of Ancillary Services for RHSHC. “We will provide family care services to include physicals, acute visits, lab services, and well child checks.”

Proposed funding sources include Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other grants and contributions from other individuals and businesses. The CDBG grant is for $600,000 and is due April 19, with matching money needing to be committed.

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Regional Editor

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