Kalona Community Center gym

The Kalona Community Center will celebrate its first anniversary next week.

Last week, the city of Kalona received word that the community center project has won a pair of awards: The 2019 All-Star Community Award from the Iowa League of Cities and the 2019 Excellence in Energy Efficient Design Award from the American Institute of Architects.

According to the Iowa League of Cities website, the All-Star Community Award program “provides an opportunity for officials and staff of member cities to receive recognition for their superior and innovative efforts. In addition, the program provides a means for sharing Iowa’s best public service ideas and demonstrates that those involved with local government are progressive, caring and committed to their communities.”

The $5.6 million project replaced the old community center that once housed the city’s high school.

Now, it houses a gym, indoor walking track, cardio, weight and exercise rooms, racquetball courts and a child watch area – all with 24-hour access for members.

The city partnered with the YMCA to manage the recreational facilities.

City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said that membership at the community center has grown from about 200-300 members to more than 1,600 members since the new facility opened.

The community center also provides space for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Performance Therapies and the Mid-Prairie school district. 

Excellence in Energy Efficient Design Award is for the new community center achieving 46% kBTU savings when compared to the Commercial New Construction (CNC) program baseline.

According to the American Institute of Architects, the award “recognizes outstanding efforts in reducing energy use. Candidates are selected from projects whose designers participated in the Commercial New Construction program offered by Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy and MidAmerican Energy Company.”

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James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at news@kalonanews.com

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