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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Aurelia OKs new Community Center

Thursday, March 22, 2007

This is the architect's conceptual model of the proposed new Aurelia Community Center. Photo submitted.
AURELIA - Approximately 50 concerned citizens met at the Aurelia Community Center Sunday afternoon, March 11th, for a second town meeting concerning a new Community Center. The group first met on December 16, 2006, to hear a proposal from a City Council committee of Roger Redig, Dar Evans, and Mayor Jeff Bowen, concerning demolition of the current, 80-year-old community center, and construction of a new, larger facility on the same site.

Mayor Bowen presented a plan drawn up by the architectural firm of Cannon, Moss, and Brygger of Spencer. This firm designed similar community centers in Everly, Hartley, Arnold's Park, and other area communities, and Aurelia's committee has visited those facilities as part of their planning.

The plan is not set yet, and can certainly be "tweaked" if changes are desired. A few ideas were brought up in the meeting, and these will be presented to the architect for his consideration. The plan calls for an 18-room facility (including two restrooms and a vestibule), a wood -framed building with a brick front on the east and north sides (the sides visible from the street). The building will start 5-6 feet from the north end of Dr. Harrison's office and extend 80 feet to the north. There will also be a parking lot of concrete or asphalt at the north end of the building. The possibility of purchasing three lots further north for additional parking is also being considered.

The architect's quoted price for the project is $768,000 for the fully handicap-accessible building, which will be engineered to withstand winds of 150-200 mph. This quote does not include the cost of demolition (an estimated $30,000), furnishings, or the purchase of the additional lots. The city of Aurelia has committed $250,000 to the project, and Aurelia Municipal Utilities another $250,000, so the additional amount needed will be approximately $270,000.

The council does not plan to raise any funds through additional taxation, so the hope is that the citizens and organizations of Aurelia will pitch in, as they have in the past for other community-related projects such as the swimming pool and baseball fields, and contribute funds towards the project.

The use of pledge cards is one of the options being considered, and plans also call for a "Donor's Wall" in the building, on which donors who contribute a certain amount ($350 or more is what they are thinking at this time) will have their names displayed. Donations to the project are tax deductible.

In a show of hands, the vast majority of attendees approved the City Council moving ahead on the project. The Council approved to proceed with the project Monday night at its regularly scheduled meeting.

Floor plan - The floor plan for the new Aurelia Community Center, an 80' x 96' facilty. The main room is 62'6" x 60' , with 14 foot ceilings. Remaining rooms have 8 ' ceilings. Photo submitted.
Mayor Bowen estimated that it would take 30 days for the architect to finalize his plans, and another 30 days for the bidding process for the construction. His hope is that the entire building project will be completed by the end of this year.

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