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Salvation Army Thrift Store close to starting construction project

TR Photo by Trevor Babcock The Salvation Army of Marshalltown’s thrift store as it stands today.

Intending to improve the shopping experience and update looks, the Salvation Army of Marshalltown is planning construction on their 13th Street thrift store.

Captain Pam Kasten, the corps officer of the Salvation Army of Marshalltown said she hopes for construction to improve the building’s exterior to begin this summer and for interior construction to begin in the winter, as they continue to look at bids for the project.

“It doesn’t look like the rest of 13th Street,” she said. “It’s got some structural issues, a sloping floor, the windows are in bad shape.”

The construction project will update the facility’s exterior to complement other buildings in the community, as well as fix structural issues to make the store more shopper friendly. Donating to the store will be easier with the addition of a covered drive-in donation window.

“We should see an increase in the goods we are getting and an increase in the quality of the goods we are getting,” Kasten said.

Next week, work will begin in the store’s basement to install a water tile system and sump pumps.

“It’s some of that stuff people don’t get to see, but it’s going to make the building that much better,” Kasten said.

The store will try to remain open during the entirety of construction, but Kasten said it may have to shut down for a couple days when the floor is being leveled.

“People that we’re going to be working with know that we want to try to stay open as much as possible,” Kasten said.

She said the store’s turn around in the last few years has helped make the construction project possible. During the fiscal years of 2014 to 2017 it was losing money. When Kasten joined the Salvation Army of Marshalltown in 2018, she saw a sincere effort being made to improve the store’s state.

“Right before I arrived there were some people working really hard to turn it around,” Kasten said. “We had done some training and attended some seminars and things like that to get the store turned around.”

The store then began changing up how they price their items and process donations. Now the sales floor has a completely different line up of items every four weeks, taking unwanted items out of the store and replacing them with new items keeping the store fresh.

The thrift store helps raise funds for other services the Salvation of Marshalltown Army provides such as emergency rent and utility assistance, food pantry and youth programs.

The Salvation Army of Marshalltown is looking for volunteers to help move old clothing racks out of the basement so construction can begin Wednesday. Kasten said it’s a great opportunity for any high schoolers looking to get hours to earn their silver honor cord for graduation. Volunteers can show up to the Marshalltown Salvation Army Thrift Store and ask for Dee or AJ.

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Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or tbabcock@timesrepublican.com.

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