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Wheels in motion for building renovation, football field resurfacing

The Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) Board of Directors met in special session this week to move forward with a building renovation project for Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls and to approve an agreement for resurfacing and shared use of the Iowa Falls Community School District’s football and soccer field.

No comments were received during a public hearing on the plans, specifications, form of contract, and estimated cost for the ECC Math-Science Building renovation. Bids for the Math-Science project will be opened on Thursday, Mar. 22, at 2 pm in the IVCCD Administration Building, and bid approval will take place at a Board meeting on Tuesday, Mar. 27, at 4 pm in that same building. Notice to bidders has been posted on the IVCCD website.

Architects with TSP, Inc. of Ames explained that the project involves renovating the existing 1971 building, which is 17,000 square feet. Improvements will include an aluminum entrance and window replacement, masonry repairs, and roof repairs. The project also includes remodeling and upgrading restrooms, classrooms, laboratories and offices, plus the development of a new Student Innovation Center. Mechanical upgrades will include furnace and condensing unit replacement and plumbing upgrades. Electrical infrastructure updates will include power system upgrades, lighting replacement, and technology/telecom updates. A new fire sprinkler system and water service are also included. The planned renovation is intended to make the facility more student- and faculty-focused by creating shared learning spaces.

The architects and College officials will conduct a pre-bid conference on Thursday, Mar. 8, at 3 pm in the ECC Math-Science Building. The District has budgeted $1.2 million for the work, and plans to work with a single prime contractor. Construction work is expected to begin in early May, and will be completed by mid-August in time for the start of fall term classes.

The IVCCD Board also approved a 28E agreement with Iowa Falls Community School District for the resurfacing and shared use of the school district’s Cadet Football Field. The Ellsworth Community College football team has used the field for several years on a fee basis. ECC Provost Dr. Martin Reimer told the Board that the field is used heavily, and the school district has determined that a resurfacing with artificial turf is necessary to assure player safety and longer-term field usability. Most colleges with which ECC competes have turf fields. This collaborative agreement will help ECC recruit and retain student-athletes.

The football field resurfacing is expected to cost about $1 million, with 50 percent raised through donations, 25 percent contributed by the Iowa Falls Community School District, and 25 percent contributed by IVCCD/Ellsworth Community College and the Ellsworth College Trustees. Dr. Reimer said the Trustees will give $125,000, and the District will contribute $125,000. In addition, ECC will lead the fundraising efforts for the community donations to be collected.

“This 10-year agreement is a partnership between Iowa Falls School District, Iowa Valley, Ellsworth Community College, the Ellsworth College Board of Trustees, and community donors. The major benefit of this project is the collaborative approach that will benefit the community as a whole,” said Dr. Reimer.

The next meeting of the IVCCD Board will be on Wednesday, Mar. 7, at 4 pm in the District Administration Building (Board Room) on the Iowa Valley/MCC campus in Marshalltown.

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