Historic Coliseum severely damaged

Most of roof gone

T-R PHOTO By MIKE DONAHEY Pictured is the local Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where Thursday’s EF-3 tornado tore off most of the roof. Additionally a sprinkler head erupted causing water damage.

No damage from the EF-3 tornado is apparent to Marshalltown’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum as one looks due south from State Street.

But it is a cruel deception.

Most of its roof is gone, which sheltered a lot of the facility.

Only blue sky seen through white structural supports gives the only evidence a roof was in place.

City Administrator Jessica Kinser told the Times-Republican earlier this week the historical structure was the most severely damaged of all city buildings. That includes city hall, which sustained a hole in its roof and will be closed until further notice.

“We are looking for a temporary recreation facility,” Parks and Recreation Department Director Anne Selness said in an email to the T-R Monday.

Parks and Recreation manages the city-owned and extensively used recreational facility.

“We are continuing to assess the situation but do not know all of the details at this time. Nor do we know when a report will be made.”

The tornado also brought about a cruel irony, as a report was tentatively scheduled to be issued Sept. 15 on a much anticipated feasibility study which might have proposed dramatically improving the 89-year-old, historic building.

Architect Damion Spilman of the GTG firm in Johnston told the city council earlier this month his goal was to present the plan specifications and budget then.

At issue for the historic structure was whether or not to make substantial changes at potentially major expense to the historic building’s floor plans, air conditioning/heating and more. A key objective was to make the building Americans for Disability Act compliant while also offering greater opportunities for public use.

Concerning ADA — the building’s restroom facilities are located in the basement, making it prohibitive to use by people with disabilities.

“We have been adding detail, and clarifying things,” Spilman said then.

Conversely, now on the horizon may be another study examining the costs of installing a roof.


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