New recreation center begins to take shape

By John Butters, The JOURNAL


KALONA?Local authorities are calling Kalona?s $5.4 million renovation of its community center the largest public building project in the city?s history.

The renovation will add three basketball courts, an elevated walking track, fitness rooms and new weight and exercise equipment to the existing structure.

The project is being financed by a $3.9 million bond, grants from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation and Enhance Iowa, and local option sales tax revenue. It is scheduled for completion in August.

The new construction is taking place on land adjacent to the existing community center, which once housed the community?s high school. A series of remodeling projects converted the 1936 school building into a center for city administration.

After completion of the city offices, the community continued to use the remaining 1930s-era gym for basketball and other recreational activities.

The gym was demolished in 2016 to create space for the new facility.