Demolition of Iowa Juvenile Home to begin soon

T-R PHOTO BY VANESSA ROUDABUSH The Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School on South Church Street closed on Jan. 16, 2014. The campus was a part of the Iowa Department of Human Services, housing girls who were adjudicated as delinquents and those in need of assistance, and the plan is now to turn the property into a new middle school for the South Tama County school district.

TOLEDO — On Oct. 3, the Toledo City Council approved Resolution 2022-36 to award the contract for the Iowa Juvenile Home environment restoration and demolition project.

Toledo Mayor Brian Sokol is ready to get the ball rolling.

“We’ve been working on [the demolition project] with the state for the last 24 months, just getting a plan for the property,” he said. “The passage of the school bond showed public support for that location for the middle school. [So] it’s been busy getting demolition, and [there’s] a lot to get done before the property gets transferred from the state to the city.”

The community has been antsy about getting started. Still, Katherine Ollendieck, the executive director of the Tama County Economic Development Commission, explained the struggle of a project this large.

“I know someone will say, ‘Why is this taking so long?’ and I think to myself, ‘Do you guys realize what we’re getting accomplished here?’ It’s not an overnight project,” she said. “There [are] an awful lot of moving parts [and] people to collaborate with and get on the same page with on this project. We’re getting there. The pain will be worth it. I’m 100% certain!”

The Council has awarded the demolition and site restoration project to the DW Zinser Company from Walford for a base bid of $813,200. Demolition is estimated to start on Nov. 1, and the project is scheduled to last 160 days.

Ollendieck helped advise the Council on choosing DW Zinser.

“They have more in-house services that are part of this project than any other bidder,” she said.

After DW Zinser restores the land, the state will transfer ownership assurance letters to the city, then the South Tama County school district can begin constructing the new middle school.

Mayor Sokol believes this project will benefit the community tremendously.

“It’s the best use for the campus [for] the new school along with the housing development,” he said. “[This is] probably one of the biggest investments in the history of the city. It’s exciting!”

Ollendieck is excited to jumpstart this project finally.

“We’re going to have one of the prettiest middle schools in the state of Iowa when this gets done,” she said. “We’re going to have one of the top middle school educational facilities for our students. I’m positive of it!”

Mayor Sokol offered his thanks to the community for continuing to back a large project and encouraged anyone interested in the process to attend school board and city council meetings.


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