City receives $350,000 grant for civic center renovation
Marshalltown’s great luck with grants continues as the city will receive $350,000 from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to be put toward the renovation at the Marshalltown Arts and Civic Center (MACC), the building formerly known as the Fisher Community Center.
David Schmitz, the administrator of the Iowa Arts Council, said that Marshalltown was awarded a bigger grant than most this year because the board viewed the project as “transformative” for the community.
“We are so excited for Marshalltown. We’ve been so impressed watching this community and its leaders recover from not just one, but two natural disasters in the last few years and just continue to stay true to the visioning plans and really to stay committed to this project,” Schmitz said.
The total cost of the renovation, some of which had already been planned before the derecho hit in 2020, is around $6 million, and the city of Marshalltown and the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation are also making substantial contributions– the foundation awarded a rare $1 million grant to the MACC. Construction kicked off earlier this fall, and some of the biggest advocates for the project are optimistic that it will breathe new life into a beloved local landmark.
“They have a very big scope of work, and we thought it was a perfect candidate for this type of funding. And we’re very grateful they chose to award us,” Marshalltown Housing and Community Development Director Michelle Sponheimer said. “We’re just really excited and appreciative of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. It really showcases a lot of the great things we have going on in the community from an arts and culture perspective, and it’ll be a great project when it’s finished.”
As Schmitz noted, the well-known Fisher art collection is something that any city in the country would be lucky to call its own, and he hopes that the renovations will spur a larger trend of housing and business development in the immediate area around the MACC.
“What it will do is help to make that a facility the whole community is really proud of,” he said.