City accepts bid to demolish Senior Citizen Building

T-R PHOTO BY EMILY BARSKE Pictured recently is the former Marshalltown Senior Center’s delapidated roof. The building, 20 E. State St., was in need of serious repair well before the July 2018 tornado.

The end is near for the Marshalltown Senior Citizens Building.

City councilors voted 6-0 (one councilor was absent) at Monday night’s regular meeting to accept a bid of $191,850 to demolish the 98-year-old structure at 20 E. State St.

Lansing Bros. Construction Co. of Luxembourg submitted the lowest, most responsible bid as required by Iowa Code. That company is no stranger to Marshalltown – having previously demolished a number of other Central Business District buildings severely damaged by the July 19 tornado.

City Administrator Jessica Kinser said city staff was pleased eight contractors submitted bids, and Lansing Bros. bid was significantly below an engineer’s estimate of $364,000.

In a memo to councilors included in the meeting packet available to the public, Kinser said “the city accepted a payment of $692,571.96 insurance settlement from tornado damage as actual cash value for the building October 2018. Following the acceptance of this payment, work started on the

demolition process. We contracted with WHKS & Co. to complete the environmental work and develop the plans and specifications for the project.

They will also be performing demolition observation and testing as part of the demolition.

“We will have a special meeting at noon on Thursday (in council chambers) to approve the contract and bond to allow the low bidder to begin work sooner.”

Earlier this year the city sold the approximately one-quarter-acre site to Landover Development of Lake Barrington, Ill. Marshalltown city councilors voted 4-3 at a meeting in 2018 to sell the site and two other parcels of city-owned property at 12 E. State St. and 26 E. State St. to the company for $10,000.

Landover is proposing to combine the sites with privately-owned properties at 28 E. State St. and 106 N. First Ave. to construct a 52-unit affordable rent apartment building with 60 parking spaces. The project is estimated to cost $8.9 million. The building will be four stories, with 33-one bedroom units, eight-two bedroom units and 11-three bedroom units. The building will have a community room, fitness center and outdoor playground.

While a number of residents publicly expressed their dissatisfaction with the council’s decision to demolish the building and sell the lot, the Senior Citizens Board of Jim Dworzak, John Fink and Marty Mitchell has been completely supportive of council decisions made in recent years concerning the building viability pre-tornado.

The Senior Citizen Center is now housed in the Fisher Community Center.

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

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the first sentence of the story, as the Senior Citizens Building is being demolished not the Senior Citizens Center.