For the past 49 years, the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse has not only served the thousands of students who have passed through it, but it has also served as the linchpin of the community.
It is home to MHS sporting events, graduation and even hosted the 2012 Republican caucus. And, each year at Christmas time, the roof of the facility dons the traditional Santa Claus and his nine reindeer.
The Roundhouse is in Marshalltown's blood, and that's why we think the community should stand behind the renovation project.
Last year, the Marshalltown Community School District unraveled its plans to renovate the building that has stood the test of time.
The Roundhouse hasn't seen any major updates or renovations since the time it was built in 1964, leaving a mid-20th century feel in a 21st century world.
Peeling paint, wooden bleachers and energy inefficiencies show the age of the building and make it clear that renovations are needed to propel the school into the future.
The project is set to cost $12.95 million and the MCSD is covering $9.1 million of the costs, while the rest of the $3.85 million is being raised through donations.
In a major announcement this past week, the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation said it will donate a $1 million challenge grant to the project when the community raises its first $1 million. This donation is nothing short of remarkable. It once again illustrates how fortunate Marshalltown is to have such generous support to the community.
This announcement brings us one step closer to the ultimate goal and almost to the halfway point.
With news like this, things are looking up for the fundraising efforts, but we can't stop here.
The next few million left to raise will be the toughest, but there isn't a doubt in our minds that this community can come together and donate to a cause close to our hearts.
It is important that we stand behind our school and the future of our children and do what we can to support this endeavor.
If you would like to donate, more information is available at www.mhsroundhouse.com.