Elma, Iowa

Elma Community Complex Project
c/o Elma City Clerk P.O. Box 497, Elma, IA 50628 View Map
Shannon Gebel

Elma Community Complex Project


We are excited about the next major project in Elma - Elma Community Complex.   Elma Community Complex Project diagram

The Elma Community Complex will allow for the following to happen in a centralized location:

  • City Clerk's Office
  • Elma Public Library—The new location will provide additional space, large room for programming, all areas will be handicap accessible, and it will be in close proximity to day care, bus stop and park.
  • The multi-purpose room with kitchen will serve the needs of library programs, city council meetings, location for family gatherings, meetings, etc. and an indoor play space for da care.  Capacity is approx. 50 people. 
  • Regional Health Services of Howard County Clinic will provide family care services to include physicals, acute visits, lab services, and well child checks.  Exploring options for on-site medication availability. 
  • The Elma Early Childhood Center will be able to serve more infants with the addition and more efficiently serve the needs of children in 3 year old preschool.


Estimated cost of the project is $1.5 million. 

Proposed funding sources-

            CDBG grant - $600,000

            Private grants - $300,000

            Businesses, individuals and other contributions - $600,000


The CDBG grant is due April 19, 2019.  We need to have matching money committed by April 8, 2019. 

If we are not able to raise the funds needed and/or we do not get the CDBG grant, all donations will be



All size donations are welcome and appreciated.      Commemorative donor brick

Donation Levels

Platinum - $50,000 -  Eligible for naming rights on buildings.

Diamond - $25,000 -  Eligible for naming rights on rooms/areas.

Gold -  $10,000 -  Eligible to sponsor a mural window covering on brick school building that will be removed and incorporated into Complex. 

Silver - $5,000 -  Eligible to have name on a patio paver incorporated into sidewalks at building entrances.
Bronze - $1,000 -  All donors of $1000 or more will receive an Elma School Building commemorative brick. 

Supporter - Donations of less than $1000.

Below is a link to a brochure and donation form.


Frequently Asked Questions & Updates:


The Elma Elementary School closed in 2015 and the school property was given to the City of Elma at that time. The non-profit day care continues to operate in the new portion of the building and one of the classrooms in the former school building under a lease with the City.  The City Clerk's office has been moved into the old portion of the school building. The City has explored potential uses for the property. Keeping the day care and providing them with more space for the infant room was of utmost importance. Could the old section of the school be re- purposed at an acceptable cost was a critical factor also. The Elma community was approached by Regional Health Services of Howard County wanting to explore locating a medical clinic in town. The Elma Public Library was wanting more space.


The City formed a school building committee to look into the possibilities and report back to them. A study of several options was performed by an architect and mechanical engineer. After extensive research and discussion, the committee presented 3 options to the City and community. Two seemed to stick. One option included keeping the old section of the school and the other option did not. Finally the decision was made not to use the old portion of the school. There were two main reasons. First, when renovating an old building it is difficult to get a cost estimate because you never know what you might run into. Secondly, there is no guarantee on the on-going efficiency of a renovated 2-story school building.


The City Council directed the committee run with the option that puts an addition onto the day care, renovates the gymnasium into a library, multi-purpose room and City Clerk's office, and build a new medical clinic building south of the gym. The old section of the school would be demolished.


Having all of these services in one location will benefit everyone. The Howard-Winn bus and a private Riceville bus stop at the day care. Usage of the library will increase because of the proximity to the day care and bus-stop. Children need medical services. The day care needs more space for infants and the 3 year old pre-school program. The multi-purpose room with a kitchen will be used by the day care, library and community.   

corn donation        Grain Donations

News Releases as of 4/5/2019-$414,387 has been committed to the project thus far!  The committee began fundraising in February of 2019 for the 1.5 million dollar project and is applying for a variety of grants.  Donations of all sizes are appreciated and can be mailed to the City of Elma PO Box 497, Elma IA 50628.   We are very appreciative of these veteran's service as well as their recent donation to the ECC Project.  Thank you American Legion John Frahm Post 597 for your $1000 donation!

current donations & committments                   American Legion donation

4/10/2019 News Release-Elma Notecards and Magnets Available For Sale!

The ECC Fundraising Committee is selling a variety of Elma Magnets.  They are $2 Each.  They are also selling blank notecards featuring various pictures of historic Elma on the outside.  5 different cards and envelopes in each bundle for $5.  Note Cards and magnets are available at Peoples Savings Bank and Elma City Clerk's office.  They can also be mailed out by contacting the Elma City Clerk at 641-393-2543. 

Elma magnets             Elma Note Cards


4/10/2019 News Release-

Cinco De Mayo All You Can Eat Taco Bar!

We are planning an Elma Community Complex Fundraiser Dinner on May 3rd featuring ALL YOU CAN EAT TACOS!  It is going to be a fun night—Mocktail Bar, photo booth, and more!  


4/30/2019 News Release-Andy Sinnwell is Painting Former Elma School Building

Andy Sinnwell, a native of Alta Vista, is being commissioned to paint a picture of the former Elma School.  As a professional artist for over 25 years he has worked with a variety of mediums but is most notably known for his ability to paint wildlife.  Andy has won several awards and has been featured in publications such as Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, the Des Moines Register and in many newspapers and on television programs.

Andy has already completed 3 prints for the Elma community - Night in the Park, The 910 at Elma (train depot and train), and Elma Iowa 125 Years.  "We are thrilled that Andy is willing to paint the school building, a place where many have memories.  Andy's paintings are filled with detail and we are excited to see what he comes up with for this project," shared Renee Burke, Elma Community Complex committee member, Library Director and Elma Elementary alum.  Plans are for prints to be available for sale by Old Roundhouse Trail Days, July 12, 13 and 14th.  It is one of the fundraisers being held for the Elma Community Complex.

The Elma City Council approved a resolution on Monday, April 8th agreeing to submit a $600,000 CDBG grant application to the State. Grant recipients will be announced this coming June. The Mayor and City Council reiterated that no City tax dollars will be used for this project.  Thus far the committee has over $428,000 committed towards the project.    The ECC committee is continuing to fund raise and planning a  Cinco De Mayo All You Can Eat Tacos Meal to be held on May 3rd at the Elma Memorial Hall and also plans to have a concession stand at Alta Vista's 125th celebration on May 31st and June 1st.

Artist Andy Sinnwell with ECC Committee members Erin Ludwig, Renee Burke and Shannon Gebel.

5/22/2019 News Release-Upcoming fund-raising efforts include the Ice Cream Social on June 9th at the outdoor classroom shelter on the former school grounds as well as several activities for the All School Reunion during Old Roundhouse Trail Days July 12-13-14!  See the flyer below and check the elmaia.com website calendar of events for all TrailDays/Reunion schedule!