Pella Community Center Update
In last year’s newsletter we mentioned that a group, Friends of the Pella Community Center, is actively involved with preserving and renovating Pella’s first High School building – now Pella’s Community Center. The organization has been working alongside the city administration to provide suggestions and to offer funding assistance in updating the building and increasing its usefulness.
So far, the Friends have placed the building on the National Register of Historic Places, raised funds to hire an architect who is experienced in working on historic buildings, and hosted focus groups seeking guidance and direction for the future of the building. Last year, the architect returned a preliminary proposal that would greatly enlarge and streamline the art center and Crossroad’s facilities. The proposal would also add a wing to the west side that would allow street-level access to the building, a new elevator, and new restrooms on every floor. In addition, the focus groups indicated a willingness to pledge nearly $4 million towards the renovation.
To date, the city remains undecided on which direction to take the community center. However, City council members Lynn Branderhorst and Bruce Schiebout, who are both up for reelection this fall, have been continuous and enthusiastic supporters of the renovation project.
Pella’s first high school/Community Center building needs an update. Please voice your opinion on the project to the mayor and council. With sufficient community support, Pella’s original high school building will be preserved, and its functionality vastly improved at the same time.