IVH debuts new $6M laundry

Ribbon-cutting slated for Friday

T-R FILE PHOTO From this July 18 photo, Iowa Veterans Home Laundry Supervisor Hope Harvey is pictured with some of high-tech laundry equipment in its newly constructed building. Officials are hosting a ribbon-cutting and grand opening from 9 a.m. to noon Friday. The public is invited.

The July 19 EF-3 tornado caused leaders at the Iowa Veterans Home to postpone a ribbon-cutting for the new laundry facility. Officials will hold the ceremony 9 a.m. Friday instead.

“Our new laundry, next to Heinz Hall, will debut to the public then,” Commandant Timon Oujiri said. “We encourage Marshalltown residents and others to come and join us from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.”

Oujiri said the $6.2-million facility was funded 65 percent by the U.S. Veterans Administration and 35 percent by the state.

IVH Laundry Supervisor Hope Harvey has the task of making sure the laundry of some 500 residents is done right every time.

The new building and its state-of-the-art equipment makes the job of doing an average of 7,000 pounds a day significantly easier.

There are 20 staff, one seamstress and 35 resident workers on her team working in the new 16,500-square foot facility with state-of-the-art machinery.

Harvey is a veteran of laundry service work in the public and private sector, and is thrilled with the facility and equipment which improve operations, use less energy and water and boost worker morale.

The old laundry was in a window-less basement. The new facility has windows and re-cycles clean air.

Harvey said there are benefits to the new IVH system.

“Our new Continuous Batch Washer (CBW) has five modules and 110-pound capacity of each module,” Harvey said. “It takes an average of six minutes to transfer goods from one module to another. The new CBW uses less energy, less water than our old model.

“Our old washers would use 2.7 gallons of water per pound, but with the new pulse-flow tunnel washer that is significantly reduced to .9 gallons per pound. It recovers water from extraction device and premixes it with fresh replenishment water.”

Laundry is returned to residents two or three times a week, depending on where a resident lives.

The service is free-of-charge.

“By whichever means residents have their clothes laundered, it is

extremely important that they have all their clothes marked with their name,” Harvey said. “If clothes items are not marked, they could get lost. If not claimed, unmarked clothing is donated to the clothes


Laundry staff work 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

“It is one of the most popular shifts at IVH,” Harvey said. “We have low staff turn-over.”


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