Elma Community Complex Projectc/o Elma City Clerk P.O. Box 497, Elma, IA 50628 View Map 641-229-7063 Shannon Gebel
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NEWS RELEASE: October 21, 2023
The Elma Community Complex project is close to wrapping up the project but is asking for financial help one last time to help finish the project.
This fall a fence was installed around the playground, landscaping was started, and new gutters were installed. Remaining items to be completed are: adding playground equipment for the day care, landscaping, adding interior and exterior signage, remodeling the bathrooms, and completing our donor wall. We estimate another $25,000 will finish the project.
To date over $1,300,000 has been raised through private donations, grants, and fundraisers. The committee continues to seek out grant and donation opportunities. Recent grants received include Tossed & Found Grant for gutters and Howard County Community Foundation grant for signage.
All sized gifts are welcomed and appreciated and can include cash, grain, or direct distribution from your IRA. For more information please contact Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk, at 641-393-2543 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be mailed to Elma Community Complex, City of Elma, PO Box 497, Elma IA 50628.For a complete list of grants & donations to date, please click on this link:
NEWS RELEASE: July 10, 2023
Recently some of the murals from the former brick school building were incorporated into the exterior of the building. Shout out to the students from the Iowa State University Design program who helped design this as part of the Shrink Smart Program.
The community embraces the many uses the new Community Room has provided!
News Release-March 5, 2023: It is no secret that the Elma Community Complex (ECC) Project has been a rollercoaster ride for the past five years, but we are excited to share some progress and hope you will join us on Friday, March 10th at our Annual Fish Fry that benefits this project. This past weekend volunteers were busy moving equipment into the new day care infant room because on Monday, March 6th staff and infants will finally get to put it to use!!! Then later this month the old infant room and existing toddler room with get updates of new flooring, painting and cupboards. Work has begun on the east and south main entrances to the ECC. In the spring new gutters will be installed and landscaping along with the installation of shutters, brick and murals (from the former elementary school) will be displayed on the outside of the Complex to finish the exterior of the building. The final phase of the ECC is renovating restrooms in the hallway of the ECC. All has been done in phases as funding allows...Funds are still being raised for the final phase and volunteers held a Fish Fry on Friday March 10th at the Elma Memorial Hall.
News Release September 14, 2022: The Elma Community Complex (ECC) is making great progress but is not finished yet! Library- The library has moved but is still settling in to the new space. The library is in need of furniture, technology installation and office equipment to resume full services. Daycare-Flooring is being installed into the new daycare addition and they hope to move in soon. The daycare also needs to complete the outdoor play area. City Clerk's Office-Construction is now complete and we are just waiting for the cabinets to be installed. Shannon hopes to move into her new office soon!
We also plan to add entrances and parking lots on the east and south sides and make updates to the exterior portion of the building. We plan to incorporate the murals from the former school building into the exterior of the building. We also plan to remodel the bathrooms in the hallway of the ECC. The new medical building clinic was built and completed as part of this project in 2020 and the community room was also finished in 2021.
We need an estimated $72,000 to complete all phases of the project. There are several ways to support the project:
-Rummage Sale and Bake Sale 9/16/2022 & 9/17/2022
-Gifts of Grain- Deliver the corn or soybeans to IAS in Elma. An account has been set up at IAS under City of Elma-Elma Community Complex. IAS will send City of Elma- Elma Community Complex a check for the grain. Farmer will receive a receipt for their gift. Gift is non-deductible on taxes but farmer does not have to declare this amount of grain as income for farming operation.
-We also accept cash donations or IRA distributions. These donations can be mailed to Elma Community Complex, City of Elma, PO Box 497, Elma IA 50628.
The great news is donations would be matched thanks to Joe & Kathy Whitinger. They have pledged another $100,000 if it can be matched! Any and all size donations are accepted and appreciated.
News Release 3/7/2022: Progress continues on the Elma Community Complex (ECC)! Despite several construction delays, the project is moving forward and the committee is hopeful to have the project completed this year!
- The outside shell of the day care addition is complete. Plumbing is currently being installed.
- The newly renovated Community Room, is currently being used by the 3 year old preschool until the day care addition and renovations are done. Appliances are installed in the kitchenette. The community room with kitchenette will be used for library programming for adults and youth and community meetings and gatherings (city council meetings, family gatherings, etc).
- Renovations of portions of the former gymnasium into the City Clerk's office and library are underway. Walls are sheet rocked and electrical is roughed in. Plumbing and heating is currently being done. Volunteers have most of it painted! The City sold the current library building and we are wanting to get the library moved as soon as possible.
- A few weeks ago Jennifer Drinkwater, Community Arts Specialist for Iowa State University Extension brought her upper-level class from the College of Design at Iowa State University to collaborate with the community of Elma as part of the research being done on Elma as a "Shrink Smart Community." The murals that were on the former brick school will be incorporated into the exterior of the complex along with adding an east and south entrance. It is important to incorporate the history of the school into the ECC project. The class is going to assist with the design in these areas.
- The committee recently got updated bids on what remains to be done on the project and additional money is going to need to be raised to complete the project. The project is being done in phases as funding allows. The committee continues to seek donations and apply for grants. Recent grants that they have received include Kinney-Lindstrom, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Theisens, and Oneota Club.
- Our next fundraiser is the annual Fish Fry on Friday, March 18th from 5-7:30 (or until gone) at the Elma Memorial Hall.
Thank you to ALL who have supported this community betterment project. Whether you donated your time or money, please know it is appreciated!!!!
News Release 2/25/2022: Pat Kinney from IowaWatch.org recently wrote a series of articles on Elma as a "Shrink Smart" community. In this article he discusses the ECC project. Learn about it at this link:
News Release 12/2/2021: Jennifer Drinkwater, an associate professor in Art & Visual Culture and the community arts specialist for Iowa State Extension and Outreach, toured the Elma Community Complex project this week. An upper-level class from the College of Design at Iowa State University will be collaborating with the community of Elma this spring as the town completes its new community center project. In late January , Jennifer along with 12 students from six departments, including Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Art & Visual Culture, and Community and Regional Planning, to meet with the community and learn more about how they can assist with some art and design planning during the spring semester.
"We are wanting to incorporate the murals that were on the former brick school into the exterior of the project along with adding an east and south entrance. This is one of the projects we are going to have the students help us get community input on and design. It is important that we incorporate the history of the school into our project and have a city building that the community is proud of inside and out," commented Renee Burke, Elma Library Director. If there are community members that want to provide input on this, they are asked to call the Elma Public Library. This class is part of the Rural Shrink Smart Initiative, a multi-year project examining how shrinking Iowa communities can maintain their high quality of life. A team including statisticians, sociologists, planners, and designers from Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln as well as professional staff from the Iowa League of Cities are developing this project with a $1.5 million grant from the Smart & Connected Communities program at the National Science Foundation. The team will be working with six Iowa communities during the grant, including Elma. Drinkwater's class will focus on how art and design can help shape community identity and increase community belonging in Elma. For more information on the Elma Community Complex project go to www.elmaia.com/ecc-project or contact Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk, at 641-393-2543 or email@example.com.
11/22/2021 News Release: Thank you to all who came and supported our 1st Chili Cook-off, lunch and silent auction. The contest was judged and Jessica Burke received 1st place, Tom Platte received 2nd place, and 3rd place went to LuRae Mohrfeld. The public had the opportunity to vote for the "People's Choice" and Tom Platte earned that honor. Winners are pictured with Elma Public Library Director- Renee Burke. The event was a fundraiser for the Elma Community Complex Project which is being done as funding allows. The first phase involved deconstruction of the brick school house which was completed in Spring of 2020. The second phase involved building the medical clinic on Busti Avenue which Regional Health Services of Howard County opened earlier this year. The third phase involved renovation of a portion of the gym into community room and city clerk's office which is 90% done. The fourth phase involves the expansion and renovation of the day-care which began this past summer. Currently the walls and roof are up and electrical is roughed in. The final phases involve renovating the remaining portion of the gym in to a library, renovating bathrooms in hallway, adding a south and east entrance, along with a parking lot and landscaping. Total project is estimated to cost $1.2 million and we have $999,617 committed to the project thus far through donations, fundraisers, and grants. The committee is very appreciative of any and all size donations. This past week they received two grants. The Iowa Arts Council gave money towards the re-purposing of the murals that were on the brick school building and Theisen's gave money towards tables and chairs for the community room. For more information on the project please go to www.elmaia.com/ecc-project. Donations can be made to: City of Elma-Elma Community Complex PO Box 497 Elma IA 50628.
We have Elma memorabilia for sale with proceeds going to the ECC project! All items are available for pick up at the Elma City Clerk's office, 415 Main Street Elma. The clerk's hours are Monday-Friday 8:00-11:30 a.m. You may also contact the clerk at 641-393-2543 to make other pick-up arrangements. Items available include Elma crocks, Elma photo frames, Elma vintage car banks, Elma 125th playing cards, Elma note card stationary, Elma 125th bells, Elma refrigerator magnets, and Elma can koozies. Also available in limited supply are Elma T-shirts and sweatshirts, but it is requested that you phone the City Clerk for sizes/colors still available on the clothing.
Photo #1: Doug Uthe, Market President of Peoples Savings Bank cuts the ribbon on the new community room. Peoples Savings Bank gave a generous gift to the project so it will be named the Peoples Savings Bank Community Room. Joining Uthe is the committee members working on the project including Shannon Gebel, Bruce Weigel, Sarah Brophy, Renee Burke and Erin Ludwig. Photo #2: Community members toured the new community room.
News Release October 22, 2021: On Sunday October 17th the community was given the opportunity to tour the new community room and see progress on the library renovations in the former gymnasium. "The community room is 90 percent done and it was fun to celebrate our progress and also give people the opportunity to visualize what the library will be when done," shared Renee Burke who has been working on this project along others since 2017 when she was first approached by a city council member to move the library. "I am excited the library, day-care and city clerk's office will eventually be under one roof. So convenient! The larger community room with kitchenette and better Internet access will be wonderful for more diverse programming and community use through the library. Day-care kids will easily be able to utilize the library along with the school kids as the new location is the bus stop for the Howard Winneshiek Community School District and Riceville Community School District.
This handicap accessible room with kitchenette will also be available for community meetings and to rent. Capacity will be around 50 people. Progress continues on the day-care addition of an infant room. The hope is to have the day-care addition completed later this year and will help alleviate their waiting list. The community room renovations is the third phase of the Elma Community Complex Project that is being done in phases as funding allows. The first phase involved the deconstruction of the former brick school building and the second phase was building of the medical clinic building. The fourth phase has begun which is the addition to the day-care. "We are in our final phases of fund-raising and asking the community to step up one more time,' shared Bruce Weigel. "We need about $230,000 to finish the 1.2 million dollar project. Final phases include finishing the day-care addition, library renovation, the exterior of the building and the parking lot. Thus far we have raised $972,343 ($305,804 from grants, $592,336 from donations, and $74,203 from fundraisers)."
The next fundraiser will be a Chili Cook-off Contest and meal on Sunday, November 21st. They will also be having a silent auction. See information on this event below:
For more information on ECC project or to donate, please contact committee members or Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk, at 641-393-2543.
News Release October 18, 2021: The public was invited to the naming of the multi-purpose room and open house on Sunday October 17th. The naming ceremony took place at 1pm, with open house and opportunity to tour the building from noon to 2pm. The multi-purpose room is located in the former school gymnasium. Peoples Savings Bank gave a generous gift to our project so the multi-purpose room will be named the Peoples Savings Bank Community Room. This handicap accessible multi-purpose room with kitchenette will be used for library programming for adults and youth, community meetings and gatherings (city council meetings, family gatherings, etc). Capacity will be around 50 people. This space is now available for community use.
The day-care addition has begun! The rafters went up recently and the hope is to have the day-care addition completed late this year.
On Sunday, November 21st, a chili cook-off contest will be held at Memorial Hall along with a silent auction with all proceeds going towards the ECC project. More details to come but if you are interested in donating or learning more, please contact Renee Burke at the Elma Public Library at 641-393-8100.
Fundraising continues with the goal to raise $1.2 million to pay for all phases of the project. Within the last few months we have received the MiEnergy-Operation Round Up Grant ($850) for chairs for community room, a grant from Tossed & Found of $1000 toward the library phase and First Citizens Charitable Foundation Grant ($3,000) for library circulation desk and furniture. The Maddie Poppe Concert helped raise over $27,000. To date, $965,000 has been raised and committed through private donations, grants, and fundraisers. We continue to seek out grant and donation opportunities so we can complete the library renovation, the exterior of the building and the parking lot. As we near the finish line, the Elma Community Complex Committee is asking for more financial support to help them cross the finish line! All donors will be recognized unless they wish to remain anonymous. The library is yet to be "named." A gift of $50,000 or more would give a person or business this honor. All size donations are appreciated and will help the committee reach their goal.
All checks should be made out to the City of Elma -Elma Community Complex. Mail to: Elma City Clerk PO Box 497 Elma IA 50628
For more information on ECC project, please contact committee members or Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk, at 641-393-2543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elma Community Complex Committee- Sarah Brophy, Renee Burke, Shannon Gebel, Erin Ludwig, Emily Ptacek, Laura Schroeder, Kyle Teeling, and Bruce Weigel
Crowds at the Elma Park enjoy the Maddie Poppe Concert Kathy Whitinger at concert with grandchildren Miles, Evie, Ada and Lucas Whitinger.
News Release September 12, 2021: Over 1200 people filled the ball field in Elma Sunday night taking in Maddie Poppe and Danni Bilidt Johnston. "It was a great night in so many ways," shared Joe Whitinger. Last spring Joe dreamed up the idea of bringing Maddie Poppe to Elma as gift for his wife, Kathy's, 75th birthday. They had been Maddie fans since she won the American Idol in 2018 and had been to several of her concerts. He started by writing Maddie a letter to see if she would come and sure enough she would. So, on Sunday night over a 100 of their friends and family celebrated Kathy's birthday at the concert.
But that is not the only reason the event was great. "We weren't the only family having a good time. It was great seeing families, young and old, local and from a distance, enjoying the concert on what ended up to be a beautiful night," commented Joe. Some were Maddie or Danni followers driving hours to attend like the young family from Vinton who arrived in Elma at 1030 and spent the day enjoying our park. Other families were local families reuniting for the fun event on Labor Day weekend. "Either way it made for a great opportunity for us to showcase our community."
After Joe confirmed Maddie would perform in Elma on September 5th, Kathy and Joe offered the concert as a fundraiser for the Elma Community Complex Committee. The committee graciously accepted and immediately began planning the event hoping to make it a major fundraiser for their cause. "We have great people who work hard on improving the community." It took over 70 volunteers to work the event from the firemen parking the cars, to people working concessions, ticket sales, and beer gardens. "It takes a lot of people and they did awesome. People can give their time and/or their financial support. It takes both for us to keep doing great things in our community. I am hoping others will consider sponsoring events like this in the future and/or the causes our community is working on. I could have been given a gift directly to the cause but I hope they doubled or tripled what my gift would have been, plus it is much more meaningful. For us it is about giving back to the community that has been good to us and making it better for future generations," shared Joe.
The Elma Community Complex committee is working their way towards raising 1.2 million dollars needed to build a building for a medical clinic, add onto the day-care, and renovate the former gymnasium into a community room, city clerk's office and library. The project benefits all nonprofits and is being done in phases as funding allows. They have raised $935,000 thus far and are still calculating how much was raised with Sunday night's event.
For more information on concert or ECC project, please contact Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk, at 641-393-2543 or email@example.com. Donations can also be mailed to City of Elma-ECC PO Box 497 Elma IA 50628
Community room is painted Cabinets & cupboards installed Countertops are on
News Release 9/3/2021: Renovations on the multi-purpose community room and city clerk's office in the former gymnasium are wrapping up. This week flooring is being installed in the community room, cabinets are being installed in the kitchenette and the sprinkler system is being finished. The community room will be used for library programming for adults and youth, community meetings and gatherings (city council meetings, family gatherings, etc). "I think the community is going to like using this new community room and it will be great for library programming. It will be ready for use later this month," shared Elma Library Director, Renee Burke. "It is fully handicap accessible, will have a kitchenette, and will hold around 50 people."
The renovations are part of a multiphase project that is being done in phases as funding allows. The new medical clinic building was completed and opened earlier this year. The others phases of the ECC project include an addition to the day care, which was started earlier this summer. The final phase is renovating the remaining portion of the gym into a library and then finishing the parking lot and landscaping. All phases of the project involve non-profit organizations. Fund-raising continues as the goal is to raise $1.2 million to pay for all phases of the project. To date, $935,000 has been raised and committed through private donations, grants, and fundraisers. All ticket sales along with concessions proceeds from the Maddie Poppe concert on Sunday, September 5th will benefit the Elma Community Complex project.
For more information or to donate to the ECC project, please contact Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk, at 641-393-2543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
News Release 8/1/2021: On Sunday September 5th the 2018 American Idol Winner Maddie Poppe will be taking the stage in the ball diamond of the Elma Park! Our favorite local singer, Danni Bilidt Johnston will be opening for Maddie. Fireworks will wrap up the evening. Maddie, a Clarksville Iowa native, is singer/song writer known for singing a mix of pop, country and folk music. She is a multi-instrumentalist- playing the guitar, piano, and ukulele.
Danni Bilidt Johnston was the 2017 Tree Town Karaoke Winner is also known for singing a variety of music from Carole King to Fleetwood Mac, to Pat Benatar and Pink. The performances will be on the stage in the ball diamond at the Elma Park, located at 328 190th ST in Elma Iowa. Bring your own lawn chairs. Cost is $20. NOTE: NO COOLERS will be allowed at the park for this event! Concert starts at 5:30pm. Concessions will be available. Check back for details! Come early and bring the family. Our park is well shaded with a great playground and NEW SPLASH PAD! All ticket sales go to the Elma Community Complex Project. See all the news on the E.C.C. project here: Elma Community Complex Project. ***CONCERT TICKETS ON SALE NOW. LIMITED NUMBER AVAILABLE. *** To purchase your concert tickets in advance, please go to this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/maddie-poppe-concert-at-park-in-elma-iowa-labor-day-weekend-tickets-164313033707
News Release, July 3, 2021: On Sunday September 5th the 2018 American Idol Winner Maddie Poppe will be taking the stage in the ball diamond of the Elma Park! Our favorite local singer, Danni Bilidt Johnston will be opening for Maddie. Fireworks will wrap up the evening. Maddie, a Clarksville Iowa native, is singer/song writer known for singing a mix of pop, country and folk music. She is a mult-instrumentalist- playing the guitar, piano, and ukulele. Danni Bilidt Johnston was the 2017 Tree Town Karaoke Winner is also known for singing a variety of music from Carole King to Fleetwood Mac, to Pat Benatar and Pink. The performance will be on the stage in the ball diamond at the Elma Park, located at 328 190th ST in Elma Iowa. Bring your own lawn chairs. All tickets will be sold at the gate. Cost is $20. Concert starts at 5:30pm. Concession stand will be available. Check back for details! Come early and bring the family. Our park is well shaded with a great playground and NEW SPLASH PAD! All ticket sales go to the Elma Community Complex Project.
Bob Savre of First Citizens Bank in New Hampton presented a $3,000 grant check to Renee Burke, Elma Public Library Director.
News Release July 2, 2021: The Elma Public Library was greatly honored to be the recipient of a $3,000 grant from First Citizens National Bank Charitable Foundation, Inc. through their branch in New Hampton. The new library is part of the Elma Community Complex or ECC project, a collaborative project in Elma combining the Elma Library, the City Clerk's office and the Elma Early Childhood Center under one roof. The ECC will also host a 50 person capacity multi-purpose room with upgraded technology and a kitchenette for educational programs, entertainment, meetings, or community and private events. The grant money will help the new library purchase furnishings for the circulation desk and patron learning areas in the library. The learning areas will be comfortable, welcoming and appealing to patrons. "We are excited for the extra space and technology updates. The expansion of the library and day care will offer more resources through the library and expanded day care services for families in our community. The library will be able to offer a wider variety of programming to citizens of all ages," stated director, Renee Burke. We continue to fundraise as our goal is to raise $1.2 million to cover the cost of all six phases of our project. To date, $934,200 has been raised and committed through private donations, grants, and fundraisers. We continue to seek out grant and donation opportunities. For more information on the project, please contact the Elma Public Library at 641-393-8100 or visit the Elma Iowa website or Facebook page.
News Release June 21, 2021: The City of Elma was 1 of 26 recipients of the Rural Innovation Grant. This $20,000 grant will go towards the Elma Community Complex Project's library renovations. Here is a link to the news release: https://kwwl.com/.../gov-reynolds-announces-400000-for.../
News Release June 11, 2021: On June 11th Regional Health Services of Howard County held an open house at the Elma Medical Clinic and KMAX Farms dedicated the building in honor of Jerry Steven. Trent Thiele, of KMAX Farms, dedicated the building in honor of Jerry Steven. KMAX Farms was given the rights to naming the building because of their financial support of the project. Jerry was a long time resident of Elma and had served as city councilman, mayor, and county supervisor and loved by many. Jerry passed away last summer. Patty, Jerry's wife, accepted the honor.
Groundbreaking on daycare addition. L-R board members Scott O'Brien, Taylor Smith, Director Sarah Brophy & board president Tom Platte.
News Release June 7, 2021: This past week the Elma Early Childhood Center broke ground on their day care addition. The day care will be adding a larger infant room onto the existing day care and re-purposing the current infant room into a larger three year-old-preschool. The addition to the day care will expand its capacity up to 16 infants and provide for more ease in separating infants, toddlers and school age kids. The day care addition is part of the Elma Community Complex project, a multi-phase community betterment project focused on expanding medical, day care, and library services for the area and is being done in phases as funding allows. The new medical clinic building was completed and opened earlier this year and the renovations on the multi-purpose community room in the former gymnasium began this spring. The walls are studded up, electrical and plumbing is roughed in and we are waiting for the sprinkler system to be installed which will be followed up with sheet rock. The handicap accessible room with kitchenette will be used for library programming for adults and youth, community meetings and gatherings (city council meetings, family gatherings, etc). Capacity will be around 50 people. The goal is to have this available for community use later this summer. The final phase is renovating the remaining portion of the gym into a library and city clerk's office and then finishing the parking lot and landscaping. Fundraising continues as the goal is to raise $1.2 million to pay for all phases of the project. To date, $919,403 has been raised and committed through private donations, grants, and fundraisers. For more information please contact Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk, at 641-393-2543 or email@example.com. You may also visit elmaia.com and the Elma, Iowa Facebook page for more information or contact committee members.
Elma Library Awarded Large Grant
Library board members (left to right) Steva Haeflinger (and her children: Ivan, Eian and Theo), Sharon Zobeck, LuRae Mohrfeld, and John Boyle along with Library Director, Renee Burke stand inside what will be the new library and are grateful for the recent Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust grant. They are currently working on renovating the community room with the hopes it will be available for usage by mid summer for library programs, council meetings and public use. "I am excited about the library and community room. Increased space along with full handicap accessibility will be wonderful and it is nice that it is close to the daycare and park," shared Steva. "I hope seniors will consider using the community room for a gathering place--maybe play cards or bingo and they can also take advantage of the library resources while there." shared John Boyle.
May 15, 2021 News Release: The Elma Public Library was honored to receive a $60,000 grant award from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust on April 23, 2021. Since 1991, the Trust has awarded nearly 300 grants, totaling almost $9.7 million, to public libraries throughout the state of Iowa. Grants are generally awarded for construction, renovation and/or furnishings and equipment needs, including technology-based initiatives that link libraries across multiple sites. "We are so grateful to Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for this grant. The money will give us a good start on building the new library." expressed library director, Renee Burke. The Elma Library began its journey toward a new library in 2017 when a city council member approached library director, Renee Burke, about moving the library into the former elementary building which was acquired by the city of Elma from Howard-Winneshiek School District after the school district vacated the building. The library board met with and discussed the move with the city council. The board then agreed to proceed with moving the library. The project was named the Elma Community Complex or ECC. Original plans were to house the Elma Library, the Elma Early Childhood Center, a community meeting room with full kitchen, the city clerk's office and a new, free standing rural medical clinic on city owned property in one location. After much plan changing and cost analysis, the two story school was torn down with the school gymnasium becoming home to the new library, city clerk's office and 50 person capacity multi-purpose room with kitchenette, the day care would add on a new infant room and remodel the old infant room into a 3 year-old preschool. The rural medical clinic would be a new building built across town on Busti Ave. The Elma Library will increase its square footage from 2200 sq. ft. to 2870 sq.ft. with additional square footage for a study room of 96 sq.ft. and a multi-purpose room of 880 sq.ft. with an attached kitchenette of 435 sq.ft. The library will have upgraded Internet access and share solar power resources with the city and day care. "We will have the capabilities to sponsor new types of programming for all ages, new technology will allow people to hold meetings for larger groups with technological amenities usually found in larger towns, hold classes for educational and social enrichment or rent the space for family gatherings or social engagements. The library will be located at the school bus stop for two school districts and across a hallway from the day care. Our facility will be completely handicap accessible. The library is a living, breathing entity that changes and grows to accommodate its community. That is what we look forward to most." stated, Renee Burke, library director. The entire project is estimated to cost 1.2 million dollars and with the recent announcement of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, $896,000 has been raised thus far. The project is being done in phases as funding allows. The committee hopes to complete the community room renovations this summer and the day care addition this fall and the library and city clerk's office in 2022. For more information on the project, please contact the Elma Public Library at 641-393-8100.
October 2, 2020 News Release: The Elma Community Complex Committee is excited to announce Joe and Kathy Whitinger have graciously pledged another $50,000 and Bruce & Callie Weigel have pledged an additional $25,000 in memory of Bill & Marlene Weigel along with BRIDGE Organization another $10,000 and Peoples Savings Bank another $10,000 to this project if they receive matching donations of equal amounts by January 15th, 2021. This is a great opportunity for people to enhance the impact of their donations and a great opportunity to continue with the progress of the Elma Community Complex project. Click here for a complete list of donors thus far: http://www.elmaia.com/uploads/site/Donors.9.24.2020.jpg
The first phase involved the deconstruction of the former brick school building and was completed this past spring. The second phase, building a medical clinic on Busti Avenue, is nearing completion and is scheduled to open in October. Regional Health Services of Howard County Elma Medical Clinic plans on providing family care services which include physicals, prenatal care, acute visits, lab services, and well child checks.
The third phase will be re-purposing a portion of the gymnasium into a city clerk's office and multipurpose community room, and bathroom renovations. The handicap accessible room with kitchenette will be used for library programming for adults and youth, community meetings and gatherings (city council meetings, family gatherings, etc). Capacity will be around 50 people. The community room will serve as a temporary location for the three- year-old preschool program until the day care addition is complete.
The fourth phase involves adding a larger infant room onto the existing day care and re-purposing the current infant room into a 3 year-old-preschool. "The addition to the day care will allow us the space to go from 12 to 16 infants and more easily separate infants, toddlers and school age kids," shared Bruce Weigel, day care board member. "Day care services are critically important for us. They attract and retain young working families as our needs continue to evolve and grow. We have learned through the COVID epidemic that we need to be better able to separate the different age groups."
The fifth phase is renovating the remaining portion of the gym into a library and then wrap up the project with finishing the parking lot and landscaping. "Our current library is not fully handicap accessible and our meeting room seats around 12 people. This location will allow us to be able to expand our programming opportunities, be fully handicap accessible and more easily partner with the day care on activities for children," shares Renee Burke, Library Director. The location also serves as the bus stop for the Riceville and Howard-Winneshiek buses. The library is a safe place and provides resources for kids seeking assistance with homework.
"For these nonprofits to remain viable and continue to provide their services in our community well into the future we need to be creative and keep operating costs down. The City is not in a position to financially subsidize them but by partnering we can better our community," shared Laura Schroeder, member of the Elma City Council. The city plans to install two solar systems, one on the roof of the medical clinic and the other on the ground across from the former school. Both systems will use an investor to sell power at a discounted rate to the city to save cost on power lowering the operating costs of the nonprofits involved.
All gifts are welcomed and can include cash, grain, or direct distribution from your IRA. The CARES Act signed into law in late March includes provisions related to charitable giving which makes 2020 is a great year to increase your charitable contributions and increase your tax savings. Up to $300 per individual can be deducted for those who do not itemize their deductions. Those who itemize can now deduct charitable donations up to 100% of their adjusted gross income, up from the former 60% limitation.
Donations can be pledged over 2020, 2021 and 2022. All checks should be made out to the City of Elma - Elma Community Complex. Mail to Elma City Clerk PO Box 497 Elma IA 50628. We also have options for donation online at www.elmaia.com. For more information on the project, please call the Elma City Clerk at 641-393-2543
Local medical services, increased day care capacity, and fully handicap accessible library adjacent to the day care and bus-stop are just a few of the ways the Elma area will benefit when this project is complete. The ECC project involves all non-profit organizations and is being done in phases as funding allows. No taxpayer money will be used for this project.
News Release, January 4, 2021: Elma Medical Clinic, Now Open
Elma, Iowa - Regional Health Services of Howard County is pleased to announce that the Elma Medical Clinic, located at 600 Busti Ave in Elma, IA, officially opened for medical services on January 4, 2021. The new clinic was built as a part of the Elma Community Complex (ECC) project and completes the community's goal of bringing healthcare services closer to home.
Regional Health Services of Howard County Elma Clinic provides family care services including physicals, prenatal care, acute visits, lab services, well child checks, some pharmacy services, and more. The clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM.
The Elma Clinic will be staffed by a variety of Regional Health Services team members. The main medical provider will be Rebecca Mischel, ARNP accompanied by Ashley Jestrab, RN and Shianne Throndson, Clinic Lead. Rebecca Mischel, ARNP says, " I love the strong sense of community that has made the Elma Medical Clinic a reality! Patients should have the care they need close to home. I am so excited to get to provide easier access to the residents of Elma and the surrounding community." Dr. Jon Kammerer, MD; Dr. J. David Maher, MD; and Staci Vrzak, ARNP will also provide medical care at the clinic.
Regional Health Services is proud to be expanding services to Elma and the surrounding communities. If you would like to schedule an appointment at the Elma Medical Clinic or would like to learn more, please call 641-393-0058 in Elma or 563-547-2101 in Cresco.
September 18, 2020 News Release Governor Reynolds was in Elma for a round table discussion on the progress of the Elma Community (ECC) Complex Project. She also toured the medical clinic, which is the second phase of the ECC Project. Regional Health Services of Howard County is planning to open the Medical Clinic intending to provide services for well, chronic and acute visits, OB/prenatal care, lab and pharmacy services. Construction, with the labor largely donated by the Mennonite community along with local contractors, will be completed this month with a planned opening date in October. Phase three will remodel a portion of the gym into a multi-purpose community room and City Clerk's office and renovate the restrooms. The fourth phase with be an addition to the day care to expand the baby room and create a 3 year-old preschool space. Phase five will consist of remodeling the remaining gym space for the library. The sixth and final phase will be the grounds to include a parking lot, driveway, and landscaping. Phases three through six are planned to occur from the winter of 2020 to the fall of 2021 based on funding and contractor schedules. Here are some photos of the clinic interior in progress:
To see a visual diagram of the entire ECC project with all of it's various phases, please click this link: 2020 diagram of complete ECC project
Governor Reynolds visits Elma September 18, 2020! See the details here: Governor in Elma
June 22, 2020 New Release PROGRESS CONTINUES ON THE NEW MEDICAL CLINIC IN ELMA! Regional Health Services of Howard County will be expanding its medical services to Elma by opening a new medical clinic in 2020, fulfilling the city of Elma's goal of bringing a medical clinic to the community. Regional Health Services of Howard County Elma Clinic will provide family care services to include physicals, prenatal care, acute visits, lab services, and well child checks.
The new clinic will be built as a part of the Elma Community Complex (ECC) project and will be located on the Blue Bird Block of Busti Avenue. The first phase of the ECC project involved deconstructing the brick school building, completed last month. The project is now onto the second phase which includes the construction of the medical clinic. The third phase will be re-purposing a portion of the gymnasium into a city clerk's office and multipurpose community room. The fourth phase involves adding a larger infant room onto the existing day care and re-purposing the current infant room into a 3-year-old preschool. The fifth phase is renovating the remaining portion of the gym into a library, then wrapping up the project by finishing the parking lot and landscaping. "Increased day care capacity, local medical services, fully handicap accessible library adjacent to day care and bus-stop, and sustainable operating costs are a few of the goals of this multi-phase project. The services these non-profits provide are important to our community," shared Bruce Weigel, ECC Committee member.
He went on to say the committee is still actively fundraising, and the project will be done in phases as funding allows. The goal is to raise $1.2 million with $479,000 committed thus far. The committee plans to apply for a number of private grants and hopes to raise $200,000-$300,000 through these grants. The remainder needs to come from private donations of citizens and businesses. "We welcome and appreciate gifts of all sizes. All donors will be recognized unless they wish to remain anonymous. The medical building and library have yet to be named. Visit with a committee member if this is something you might be interested in," shared Weigel. For more information on the Elma Clinic, contact Kyle Teeling, VP of Ancillary Services at Regional Health Services at 563-547-6313 or Shannon Gebel, Elma City Clerk at 641-393-2543. You may also watch for updates to be posted to rhshc.com and elmaia.com, as well as the 'Regional Health Services of Howard County' and 'Elma Iowa' Facebook pages.
June 2020 News Release-Medical Clinic on Busti Avenue is progressing!
See these photos for the progress to date:
May 15, 2020-News Release Mayor Steven accepts grant for ECC Project Community Room
Tossed & Found thrift store in Elma awarded $500 to the ECC Project Community Room in their April 2020 Charitable community betterment grant program.
April 2020 News Release-Latest information on the ECC Project http://www.elmaia.com/uploads/site/AprilBankNewsletter.2020.pdf
12/16/2019 New Release-Roaring 20's New Years Eve Party in Elma with Dance & Hypnotist
Dress up in costume and go back in time to the Roaring 20's. Be amazed by Hypnotist, Tommy Dare, from 7-8 PM; Dance the night away or join in games from 8 PM - 1 AM; Enjoy hor d'oeuvres throughout the night and have a glass of champagne at Midnight to bring in the new year. Costumes are not required. But be careful, remember Prohibition is enforced and you need to be sneaky to get into this Speakeasy! We dare you to enjoy a night of fun in Elma at the Memorial Hall! All proceeds to benefit the Elma Community Complex Project. For more information on the Elma Community Complex go to www.elmaia.com
12/2/2019 News Release-Items for sale to benefit the ECC project.
Shannon Gebel and Erin Ludwig showcasing a variety of Elma memorabilia that is being sold to benefit the ECC project including a painting of the former Elma School by Andy Sinnwell, Crocks, sweatshirts and more. Andy Sinnwell will be available to sign prints at the Elma Memorial Hall when Santa visits Elma on Saturday, December 7th from 10-11 a.m.
11/27/2019 News Release-Elma Community Complex Project Moving Forward and Fundraising Continues!
The Elma City Council remains committed to the original goals of bringing a medical clinic to the community, providing additional space for the library, expanding the daycare, and providing space for the City Clerk office. They voted at their November 11, 2019 meeting to proceed with the Elma Community Complex (ECC) project with a new location for the medical clinic. "In late spring we learned the school property was in the flood zone flood forcing the committee to rethink the original dynamics of this project. After much discussion and research, the ECC Committee presented their findings to the city council and proposed a new plan," shared Bruce Weigel ECC Committee Member. The ECC benefits nonprofit entities utilizing the former school property that the City of Elma owns. Plans are to renovate the current gymnasium into a public library, City Clerk's office and multi-purpose room with a full kitchen. 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. Regional Health Services of Howard County will furnish and operate the clinic building. Originally the medical clinic was going to be built at the former school location, but now a new location is being sought. "Due to the costs associated with flood proofing to meet city and state ordinances, we are currently seeking a new location for the medical clinic and moving forward with the project in phases. We are considering building the clinic on the northeast side of town on Busti Ave, north of the Blue Bird. This property is out of the flood zone, has enough room to build the clinic and allow for adequate parking. The moving of the clinic in no way alters the rest of the original plan," shared Laura Zenner, ECC Committee Member and City Council Member. The old school will be deconstructed this winter. "It's great to see the project moving forward. We've identified a suitable location for the clinic and Regional Health Services of Howard County is excited for the opportunity to establish a new clinic and provide local healthcare to Elma and the surrounding area. The work of the committee and the collaboration amongst the various entities and City of Elma has been great." Kyle Teeling, Vice President of Ancillary Services for Regional Health Services of Howard County. "We now need to re-start the fundraising efforts. Approximately $450,000 has been committed to the project thus far. Our goal is $1.1 million," shared Erin Ludwig, ECC Committee Member. The committee plans to apply for a number of private grants. We hope to raise $200,000 -$300,000 through these grants. The remainder needs to come from private donations of citizens and businesses. If you have already given, thank you, and please consider an additional donation. If you made a pledge, please send a check to PO Box 497 Elma, Iowa 50628, to honor your commitment. If you have not contributed to this project yet, please consider being a part of this great effort to improve our community. For more information contact any of the committee members: Laura Zenner, Emily Ptacek, Shannon Gebel, Renee Burke, Kyle Teeling, Erin Ludwig, and Bruce Weigel; go to www.elmaia.com/ecc-project; or call the Elma City Clerk at 641-393-2543.
11/15/2019 News Release-Get your Christmas Gifts through us & benefit the ECC Project
We are currently selling a variety of Elma Memorabilia including school crocks, Andy Sinnwell painting of the Elma school, blank note-cards, and Elma t-shirts and sweatshirts.
We have over $450,000 committed to the project thus far including a $71,375 grant to go towards the deconstruction of the brick school building which is scheduled to happen in January. All donations are being held in a separate account for the Elma Community Complex and will not be spent until we move forward with the project. Any costs that have been incurred to date have come out of funds received from fund-raising efforts such as fish fry, Elma memorabilia sales, school contents auction, etc. No city tax dollars have gone towards this project. If you would like to make a donation, please make your check payable to the City of Elma - Elma Community Complex and mail the tax-deductible donation to: City of Elma, PO Box 497, Elma, Iowa 50628. If you have any questions, please contact the Elma City Clerk at 641-393-2543. You may also contact any of the committee members which include: Emily Ptacek, Laura Zenner, Shannon Gebel, Erin Ludwig, Renee Burke, Kyle Teeling and Bruce Weigel.
11/8/2019 News Release-click on the link below for the latest donations tally.
11/1/2019 News Release-Work is continuing on the Elma Community Complex. Here is an update on what the committee has been doing the past few months. During the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application process this past spring, we found out that the school property was now included in the flood zone after a recent flood map update. This came as a surprise to the City and the committee. It meant that we were no longer eligible for a CDBG grant. It also meant that there were a new set of requirements to follow if we were going to build in a flood zone. The City has an ordinance on building or renovating in a flood zone. So we began exploring our options.
First, could we afford the project without the $600,000 CDBG grant money? The total project cost estimate was $1.5 million from the architect. We knew we could save some money if we didn't have to follow federal guidelines without the CDBG money. So we got estimates from some local contractors and we came up with $1.2 million for a total project cost. Both the City Council and the ECC Committee felt comfortable proceeding with the project.
Secondly, how do we deal with the flood zone issue? We hired a surveyor to see if we could get a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) which would remove the property from the flood zone. No luck there. The survey showed that we would have to raise the elevation 3-4 feet to get out of the flood zone. We researched other options talking with the DNR and engineers.
The frustrating thing about this whole process is that the school property has never flooded to anyone's knowledge. The last 25 plus years have seen a lot of flooding in Iowa. The City of Elma experienced its worst flooding in 1993. The school property did not flood that year or any year since. The City did a $375,000 flood mitigation project in 2000-01 that diverted significant water flow from the ditches north of the park to underground culverts installed south of the park. The City also paid for terracing and tiling on the farmland on the southeast edge of town to divert water to the south instead of coming into town. The project appears to have been successful.
So where do we go from here? Currently, the committee is continuing to research options and we are committed to our original goals of bringing a medical clinic to the community, providing additional space for the library, expanding the day-care and providing space for the City Clerk office. The committee still feels there is value in having these non-profit services in close proximity that will have short and long term impacts on the community and the services that can be provided.
The next steps include looking at the alternatives to determine construction and flood mitigation tactics to meet the requirements and talking with the Iowa DNR, architects and engineers. It is our hope we can find a solution and begin construction and renovation in the spring.
We are continuing fund-raising efforts through private donations, grants and community events. A "Roaring 20's New Year's Eve Party" is scheduled for December 31, 2019 at the Elma Memorial Hall. Save the date and start planning your 1920's outfit because it is going to be fun night that will include hors d'oeuvres, champagne and more!
5/22/2019 News Release- Upcoming fund-raising activities include an Ice Cream Social on June 9th (see flyer) at the outdoor classroom shelter on the former school grounds and several events for the All School Reunion during Old Roundhouse Trail Day July 12-12-14 (see these at Trail Day Schedule).