The close of 2021 also wraps up the early stages of an economic development and quality of life project that will provide more recreation for Ames in future winter months – the new indoor aquatic center.
To bring this vision to life, the Ames Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the private fundraising efforts and worked with the City of Ames to apply for a $21.6 million grant through Iowa’s Reinvestment District Program. The project was provisionally awarded $10 million in June from the State – a significant win for our community considering the number of program proposals this year.
Receiving less funding through the grant than we had hoped for, the project team pivoted as we all so often have done the last two years and worked to rescope the project and funding needs. We set out to raise another $15 million in private donations, and I am pleased to share that so to date we have reached $10.3 million of that sum. Anticipated construction is to begin in late 2022.
The indoor aquatic center project has been a personal favorite of mine this year because it will not only be a new quality of life asset for Ames and Story County residents, it also builds upon our community’s focus on inclusion and accessibility. Features will include a zero-entry pool, a warm water therapy pool, slides, a lazy river, lap lanes and more. The carefully designed facility was created with our residents and their various needs top of mind. The indoor aquatic center will provide the opportunity for year-round recreation for every single member of our community.
At the Chamber, we have six core values our team strives to personify every day. We are determined to be customer driven, innovative, team players, good for it, demonstrate integrity and work for the greater good. We chose to take on the fundraising aspect of this project because we believe adding an indoor aquatic facility to our community checks each and every one of those boxes. As our community grows, so do our needs. The Ames Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to anticipating those needs and helping create innovative solutions that will positively impact the greater good.
If you are interested in making an end of year contribution toward the indoor aquatic center, we are still accepting two-year pledges, half due at the end of 2021 and the other half by 2022. Contact our office at 515.232.2310 and we would be happy to assist you. No pledge is too small! We are in this together and together we will bring this amenity to our community.
Finally, I invite you to join us as we kick off the new year at our Legislative Breakfast on January 5, Economic Outlook Breakfast on January 11 and the Annual State of the Community on January 26. You can register for these events at AmesChamber.com or by calling our office at 515.232.2310.
Thank you all for a wonderful 2021 and I look forward to seeing where 2022 takes us! Happy New Year!
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