It’s been a great week showcasing some of Marshalltown’s best assets! I was fortunate enough to tour the Iowa Valley Community College/Marshalltown Campus and the Marshalltown Arts & Civic Center this week.
On Thursday, the Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) announced renovations to the Marshalltown campus. These improvements were made with a $32 million bond issue that the community passed in 2019.
IVCCD President Kristie Fisher and the Board welcomed the guests and congratulated those who had worked so hard to make this project a success. They specifically thanked the public for their faith in the college by voting for the bond issue.
The renovation work affected almost all areas of the campus. Some of the improvements were very visual, like the renovated BJ Harrison Library, the new physics lab, and many common areas for students. Other improvements that weren’t as obvious were roofing, wiring, and internet wiring throughout campus.
One of the most popular places was the Esports Lab. Students compete in internet gaming competitions with others from around the world. They improve their gaming skills, but also take classes to learn about esports marketing, esports broadcasting, and the special events of tournaments. These are jobs that I or even my own children never thought of doing while they were in college.
Another central part of the campus was the Hall of Care. This hallway contained a reflection/meditation room, a lactation room, and an ensuite bathroom with shower. Nearby was the Veterans Lounge, where those who served have access to a computer and have a quiet place to study or rest.
The Conference Center has been completely renovated and upgraded to meet the needs of our community for a meeting room, conference center and dinner venue.
Then on Sunday I visited the Marshalltown Arts & Civic Center (MACC), home of the Fisher Art Museum and the Martha Ellen Tye Playhouse. This is another gem of our community. Since the Derecho caused considerable damage in 2020, the community center was extensively renovated and redesigned.
Guided tours informed about the renovation. The first stop was the lobby, which can serve as a reception room. Next we entered the museum with the restored artworks displayed in a nice bright room with information about each artwork. The old auditorium has been converted into a tasteful venue for a reception or dinner. Next to it is a canteen kitchen for gastronomy. It’s such an improvement over the previous kitchen!
The tour continued with large and small meeting rooms. Several of our non-profit organizations such as United Way, The Community Foundation and the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation have offices in the south part of the building.
The final stop on the tour was the Martha Ellen Tye Playhouse. This part of the building was constructed in 1973. It too was damaged by the derecho. The roof was repaired along with new floors on the stage. The dressing room/makeup rooms have been completely upgraded. But the theater itself will need additional funds to fully renovate it. This is the next project on the way.
I would like to thank Karn Gregorie and everyone who worked with her to bring about this transformation. Our community should be proud of this Art & Civic Center. I think Bill Fisher and Martha Ellen Tye would be proud!
Sue Cahill, a Democrat from Marshalltown, represents District 71 in the Iowa House of Representatives.