The Vision Iowa Board today awarded over $1.25 million in grants to six projects across the state. Vision Iowa spokesperson Jessica O’Riley says the largest award of $404,068 is going to the Des Moines Social Club.
The organization is acquiring and renovating an old fire station in downtown Des Moines. The $3.3 million project involves the creation of a theater space, classrooms, an art gallery and more. An award of just over $250,000 will help finance a $1.3 million project in Marion — the construction of a large amphitheater in Lowe Park.
“The Lowe Park project is really impressive,” O’Riley said. “It has a humongous burr oak leaf that forms the canopy to the amphitheater, so it’s an outdoor performing stage. The drawings the board has seen are quite stunning.” In western Iowa, the town of Hancock is receiving an award of $175,000.
The grant will help with improvements at the popular Botna Bend Park. The project includes construction of a new restroom, plus enhancements to a water trail and campgrounds. The Vision Iowa Board also awarded grant to a library expansion in Waukon and various community projects in Van Horne.
O’Riley said both projects have tremendous community support. “For the town of Waukon, which has just about 4,000 people, they raised $656,000 in private fundraising,” O’Riley said.
“In Van Horne, which has (a population of) under 700, they are near $500,000 raised locally.” A project that involves improvements to a riverfront park in Charles City was awarded a grant of just over $36,000.