Grand Junction Community Center will open next Saturday

Grand Junction Community Center
Grand Junction Community Center

The collaboration of dedicated volunteers and community-minded donors will be showcased next Saturday, Jan. 30, at an open house and ribbon cutting at the new Grand Junction Community Center, located on Main Street in the heart of Grand Junction.

The open house, with refreshments, will be from 4 to 7 pm, with a short program and ribbon cutting at 5:30.

The community center includes a small, informal meeting room, a mid-size room for groups of 35 to 50, and a large room for groups of up to 250 persons. A large kitchen with four ovens, eight burners and a commercial dishwasher is available.

The Grand Junction city clerk’s office will move to the Community Center soon, and Grand Junction city council meetings will be held there.

At the open house, guests will be immediately drawn to the artistic donor board inside the front door.

Donor art recognizes donors of $100 or more
Donor art recognizes donors of $100 or more

Other items of interest will be the vintage city council table refinished by Joann Dearborn, and a table built by Shirley Herrick of materials reclaimed from four different buildings that were on the site where the Community Center is now located.

Total cost of the project was $1.2 million. Of that $220,000 was funded by VISION Iowa through its Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) program.

Junction Hilltop Wind Farm has been a very generous supporter of the project, giving $100,000 to jumpstart the project and another $300,000 if certain non-financial goals were met.

A 44 kw solar array is part of making the Community Center net-zero energy
A 44 kw solar array is part of making the Community Center net-zero energy

The final challenge, planning for the building to be net-zero energy, has been met, although the system is not yet fully functional. The construction of a 44 kw photovoltaic solar array at the wastewater lagoon on the east edge of Grand Junction is part of the plan. Bob and Joyce Ausberger donated $100,000 to fund that portion of the project, garnering the last $100,000 of the Junction Hilltop challenge funds. Bob Ausberger, Junction Hilltop president Tom Wind, Bill Sutton and other volunteers constructed the solar array.

Fundraising for a new community center began in 2011 but progress was slow. The effort was reorganized in the fall of 2013 with Diane Wise and Joan Dearborn at the helm and countless volunteers helping.

In the course of fundraising, more than 500 individuals donated to the project. Wise was recognized with the Greene County Chamber of Commerce’s Above and Beyond the Call (ABC) Award in 2015 for her work. She accepted the award on behalf of the entire committee.

Donations to complete furnishing and provisioning of the building are still being accepted. Check payable to the City of Grand Junction can be sent to Grand Junction Community Center, PO Box 383, Grand Junction, IA  50107.



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