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REFLECTING ON THE PAST

A Community Center is the staple of a community. It is a place to host Community bonding events like fundraisers, activities for kids, wedding receptions, fitness groups, and many more. Over the past several years the City Council has contemplated how to best move forward with our current community center building, as the building has been showing increased and ongoing signs of infrastructure deterioration. The current building was built in 1941 and served local public school students until classrooms closed in 1985. From that point forward the building has served as the Doon Community Center. In March, 2019 the City Council appointed a Community Center Steering Committee, and with enormous support from the City Council and from the Community itself, we have been exploring every way to provide our growing town with a better option to house these types of events.

The current structure we have was deemed unfit for renovation. When speaking with the Mayor, City Council members, and City maintenance, the decision was made to have an independent study done on our current Community Center. The study was completed by NORR WORTMANN ENGINEERING and the summarized results are as follows:

Major updates would be needed including: new roof, new windows, compliant bathrooms on all 3 levels of the building, new heating and cooling system, updates made to the kitchen, plus many other costly repairs. “Based on NOHR’s on site observations, it is NOHR’s opinion that the existing building is obsolete. Improvements needed to make the structurally sound building a more usable and efficient building are very costly and labor intensive. It is NOHR’s opinion that the existing building has served its economic life span and that it would be much more cost effective to replace the structure entirely rather than to make repairs and improvements to the structure. It is NOHR’s opinion that the existing structure should be torn down and properly disposed of and a new replacement built.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

The Steering Committee has been actively seeking input from other communities, as well hosting public information/input meetings and surveys. During the month of February, 2020, a survey was sent to all residents within the City of Doon. The survey received a tremendous response, very useful feedback, and overwhelming support to move forward with plans for a new Community Center.

The decision to go with a new structure comes with many positive improvements. The improvements in comparison include:

Much better handicap accessibility- With 14,000 Square feet on one floor level we will be offering accessibility to areas like the library, bathrooms, pre-school, and other activity rooms with no stairs and no chair lifts.

Updated Pre-School – With a growing number of preschool students, a high priority we hold is providing an adequate opportunity for youth in our community. The proposed preschool room will be a main floor entry, eliminating the second story we use now. It will also increase square footage, have better access to the gymnasium and outside playground equipment, and have its own bathroom eliminating the need to go to the basement for bathroom access.

New Library – We will be able to offer a better floor layout, and a much more appealing place for our youth to have access to internet, books, and history of the town.

New Gym/Kitchen/Rental Room- We will be able to offer a larger seating capacity, much better heating and cooling efficiency, and not worry about deterioration problems we currently face. There will be a more usable kitchen, and also an appealing rental area that we are lacking now. By offering these things, we anticipate an increase of use and how often we see the facility rented out. After talking with surrounding towns, with new facilities, the revenue increase from rent and memberships does a significant part in covering the monthly bills and upkeep.

New Gym/Kitchen/Rental Room- We will be able to offer a larger seating capacity, much better heating and cooling efficiency, and not worry about deterioration problems we currently face. There will be a more usable kitchen, and also an appealing rental area that we are lacking now. By offering these things, we anticipate an increase of use and how often we see the facility rented out. After talking with surrounding towns, with new facilities, the revenue increase from rent and memberships does a significant part in covering the monthly bills and upkeep.

When looking at projects this size for a small community there is a lot to  take into consi derati on.  Putting together a great building at an attainable budget is the top priority. We are looking to fulfill a $1.5 million budget to get us from tearing down and hauling out the existing community center, to a completed new facility with better parking.

The initial funding we have current access to in the beginning stages of our fundraising efforts are as follows:

* For City of Doon residential and commercial properties, the tax levy will raise by $400,000 for the purpose of a new community center , resurfacing roads and for water and sewer infrastructure repairs and imp rovement s. Based on a 10 year bond term limit, property tax would increase by $92.95 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

 

 

We can tell you, as a committee, we are excited to see this project begin! We thank you for your consideration and interest, and hope you share the excitement with us and the rest of our community!

 

 

 

 

Community Center Steering Committee Board:

 

 

Larry Boeve Jerry Keizer James De Kam Adam Van Engen

Tim Mantel Scott Postma

Blake Van Semmel