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Site chosen for Atkins community building

The Atkins Improvement Mission (AIM) foundation announced at the Atkins Watermelon Days on August 8 the location of the proposed community center. Terms have been reached with the Gerhold family for the purchase of the current family homestead located on the south side of Parkridge Road. Purchase of the approximately four acres will occur upon the successful fundraising for Phase I of the project – Library/ City Hall. The addition of the recreation center will be evaluated once the capital campaign for Phase 1 is completed.

The AIM foundation consists of a group of volunteers who were charged to first identify the need for an updated City Hall, Library and Recreation Center complex for the City of Atkins, according to Angela Gammill of the AIM committee.

The needs assessment identified the following:

1. The current city hall is located in an antiquated city jail and does not represent the growing needs of the city.

2. The library currently located in a borrowed building has outgrown its quarters.

3. No recreation center is available to meet community needs. Currently, the school gym is used when available but it is highly utilized.

4. The city’s population has nearly doubled since the year 2000 census. Young families with children are moving to the area and a new complex would attract this growing population. The city is growing and the needs are growing with it. Thus, the need for a larger, modern setting was agreed upon.

After identifying the need, the committee then set about the task of determining whether it was feasible for the community to support the project. The AIM foundation hired a consulting firm, Consult Savoy, Inc. of Cedar Rapids, to assist with the feasibility study as well as identify various funds that may be available for the project.

Many sites were evaluated and few met the criteria that were identified by the committee and the residents of Atkins. Thus, the procurement of the proposed site is a culmination of many hours of work by the committee members.

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UPDATED August 12, 2009 9:41 AM

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