Event Center makes for second completed CBP2 project

Friday, June 7, 2019
(Sentinel Photos by Kim Fickett) The Olson Cultural Event Center, 33 First Ave. N.E., is the second of the Community Betterment Projects — Phase 2 to be completed. The renovation of the downtown space was completed on June 4 and city officials are hoping the area will now bring a “town-square” feel to Le Mars.

LE MARS — Residents and visitors of Le Mars are now able to enjoy an updated green space in downtown thanks to Community Betterment Project funds and an Enhance Iowa CAT Grant.

The renovation of the Olson Cultural Event Center, 33 First St. N.E., was completed on June 4.

It was in early 2016, when the facility was named one of 10 projects the Le Mars Betterment Foundation (LABF) identified as one to invest in to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of the greater Le Mars area.

“The Olson Cultural Event Center was originally constructed to create a ‘town-square’ like atmosphere to host a variety of events and programs,” said Jason Vacura, city administrator. “However, the facility has been underutilized over the years.

“Improvements have been made in an effort to steer the ‘town-square’ like atmosphere into a park like setting, adding an aesthetic appeal. I believe the end product satisfies the concept envisioned many years ago when this site was chosen as a CBP2 project,” Vacura added.

The project, which began in late fall of 2018, involved removal of concrete and the replacement of it with a grassy area, as well as walkways going north/south and east/west, the addition of concrete stadium seating, raised flower beds and enhanced landscaping, picnic areas with pergolas, a sprinkler system, banners on the building to the south, and modification of the center’s electrical system.

Estimated cost of the project was $295,000, however Vacura said to date the project has cost $150,200.

“There are a handful of invoices to come in yet but the total cost will come in well under the $295,000 estimated budget,” he noted.

The expenditure was divided with 84 percent coming from the LABF and 16 percent from the Enhance Iowa CAT Grant.

The event center is the second of the CBP2 projects to be completed to date. The first was the refurbishment of the Willow Creek Campground facilities and clubhouse renovation.

“It is great to get these projects completed so the community, as well as those that donated to this cause can see the vision come to reality,” Vacura said. “These projects could not be accomplished without the Le Mars Area Betterment Foundation and all those that have given to the foundation. There are still more projects to do, so the opportunity to still give is still there.”

The remaining projects include: the skateboard park, dog park, recreation trail north and south extension, PlyWood Trail, YMCA improvements, BMX track, and Royal III Theatre.

If anyone is interested in supporting the remaining projects, they can contact the Le Mars Area Betterment Foundation at 712-546-8821.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: