We are excited about the next major project in Elma – Elma Community Complex

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 day 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 returned.

All size donations are welcome and appreciated; note these extra donation incentives:

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.

Posted: January 1, 2018 in Community Complex