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The new Kalona Community Center is on track to be ready and open to the public by late August, just in time for the Kalona city celebration.
Tad Morrow, a field engineer with Carl A. Nelson & Co., told the Kalona City Council on Monday that crews would begin work on the interior of the building once the outside was all walled off.
“We have heaters scheduled for delivery on Feb. 2. Once we get those set up we can start our interior work,” he said. “Once the heat’s on we can thaw out the ground and start pouring concrete.”
Morrow said the project was on schedule to be completed by August this year.
City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said there have been a few unforeseen circumstances that has caused the city to dip into the project’s contingency fund. Morrow said crews had unearthed parts of old foundation and other unexpected obstacles over the excavation and demolition phase of the project, but around half of the fund still remained for the rest of the project.
The city council also voted on new railings for the community center.
The railings will cost almost $30,000 but Schlabaugh said that would fall within the project’s budget, thanks to the contingency plan.
“When we made the original budget we included that contingency so we’d be able to go back and add things once we come to them,” he said.
The idea for the new railings was brought up by council member Mark Robe. Robe said he had seen similar railings recently when he had gone with his son to the North Liberty Community Center. The railings incorporate a metal lattice design that allows people to look through them while at the same time preventing falls.
“I think they’re safer, and if we want to use that upper area for seating, we should have a railing that people can see through,” Robe said. “That’s my two biggest things, the visibility and the safety.”
The council voted to approve funds for the railings, in addition to several other change orders.
The Kalona City Council also agreed to explore the possibility of entering into a sharing agreement for a street-sweeper with the City of Wellman.
Schlabaugh said the two cities would share the equipment, but probably not staffing.
“Wellman needs one as well, but the street-sweeper would be maintained and stored in Kalona,” he said. “All you’re approving tonight is to come up with a plan to see if it’s something that could exist.”
Council member Jenelle Bender said Kalona should at least see what it’s options are.
“I think we should explore it and get some questions answered.”