Planners of a new Newell Community Center have received both a challenge and some encouragement from the Vision Iowa funding program.
"They told us we need to raise more pledges before we will be considered for state funding, but they also did a feasibility study and concluded that it is a worthy project," said Marilyn Monson, one of the volunteers working toward the $1.2 million project.
"That was nice encouragement for us to continue," she said.
Early on, the drive saw over $40,000 in pledges, but the effort has recently been stuck in a holding pattern.
The committee will come together in January to consider any necessary changes in the project and to launch a possible fund drive.
The site has already been prepared for the new construction in downtown Newell, and the American Legion is partnering in the portion of the project that will restore the existing Allee Building as part of the community center.
The development, supporters feel, is critical for the small city.
"Every community needs a gathering place, a reason for people to come together and interact," Monson said. "It is also part of the economic development mission to create assets for the community."
The beauty of the Newell center plan is that it provides activities for people of all ages, they say - making space for an improved senior meal site for the elders, a fitness center for families, and meeting space for groups of any age.
More information is available by calling 272-1410. Donations and pladges can be made through the city of Newell.