A new era awaits for VMC

Report recommending Coliseum improvements ready

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Pictured are new 1957 Buicks on display at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Marshalltown as part of a Wise Buick Co. sales promotion. Not only did the historic facility serve as host to auto shows, it featured community college and high basketball games, concerts, family events and KFJB’S “Barn Dance” program.

Editor’s Note: This is another in a series of reports on a local ad-hoc committee conducting a feasibility study on the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Look for more stories about their work and facility history in the Times-Republican.

A new era may be dawning for the historic, 89-year old Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

On Monday at 3 p.m., in council chambers, members will meet again with project consultants to review and discuss a final report outlining major changes and possible uses for the facility.

It is open to the public.

“This will be the fourth meeting with GTG Companies of Des Moines, the consultants hired to help our volunteer committee formulate a use plan for the VMC,” said Marshalltown Parks and Recreation Director Anne Selness.

“They have met with members from the Veterans Memorial Coliseum Commission, the Park and Recreation Advisory Board, city staff and council members over the last two months to discuss plans and ideas. The consultants will be presenting:

— Drawings – consisting of a site plan, floor plans, code plans, interior and exterior renderings, as well as the existing floor plan allocations.

–Assessments of the MEP and environmental reviews provided by System Works and Impact 7G.

— Potential energy rebates – Weidt Group Study & Alliant Energy.

— A budget developed for fund raising.

— Detailed narrative of the budget.”

Members of the ad-hoc committee are Mary Lake, VMC veteran representative; Ann Selness, Jenny Hart, Parks and Recreation staff; Michelle Spohnheimer, city Housing and Community Development director; Steve Grasso, GTG Companies of Johnston, Nick Salesek, VMC veteran representative. GTG is a architectural and construction firm. It was hired by the city after a competitive process to help the task force develop the comprehensive plan. At previous meetings, GTG staff listened to comments from attendees regarding the VMC’s current and possible uses.

Additionally, GTG staff and committee have toured the VMC.

Also participating were Third Ward Councilor Mike Gowdy and Steve Storjohann, VMC veteran representative.

Making the study possible was the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation of Marshalltown, which previously awarded the city a not-to-exceed $25,000 grant. The grant application was prepared by Selness and Spohnheimer.

“We are really excited to see the drawings for the facility upgrade, and all new ideas for the unused space,” said Selness. “There will be many more opportunities for recreational programming as well as meeting space and an upgraded kitchen. We encourage anyone interested to join us.”


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com