INWOOD, IA (KELO) — This week’s demolition of City Hall in Aurora, South Dakota could be a preview of what’s to come for another municipal building in KELOLAND.
The City of Inwood, Iowa is awaiting bids for a project that would tear down part of the community center that collapsed under the weight of heavy snow just over a month ago. The city is also making plans to replace the gymnasium that’s been such an important centerpiece of the community.
It looks like a giant snow bank. But underneath is a heap of steel beams and siding that collapsed in late January from a thick blanket of snow on the roof.
“There’s quite a few people you still see driving around, driving past it. It will be talked about for a while,” City Maintenance Manager Jamie Van Beek said.
The gym was used for events ranging from wedding receptions and fundraisers to basketball games.
“A big loss for the community to not be able to have their kids come play basketball and things like that in here and burn off some energy,” City council member Rick Rozeboom said.
The City is looking at hiring a demolition crew to take down what remains of the gym. But it’s unclear yet when the project can get started.
“Somebody with the right equipment, probably in a week and that will all be gone, maybe even a couple days,” Rozeboom said.
Down the hall from the gymnasium, city hall, along with the library, are back open after that half of the building was closed so volunteers could remove the snow from the roof.
“It wasn’t very fun. But we tried scraping it, roof scrapers at first. And then that didn’t work very good. It was 16,17, 18 inches thick with a lot of ice underneath,” Van Beek said.
So then they switched to power-washing the roof with fire hoses.
“We’d start probably 3-feet on the bottom, wash it, and then we’d move another 3-4 feet up and do that and it took about two full days just with the fire hoses to get them off,” Van Beek said.
The City Council couldn’t hold any meetings in their regular council chambers until all the snow was removed from the rooftop. So they held an emergency meeting last month at a truck stop, down the street.
“So we met in there. That was pretty accommodating, actually, a pretty decent place to meet,” Rozeboom said.
The city is waiting on insurance payments to help cover the costs of demolition. But until then, the big heap that was once the gymnasium will remain next door, a reminder throughout the rest of the winter of nature’s power, and the resilience of the community.
A committee is scheduled to meet next week in Inwood to move ahead with plans of replacing the gymnasium. The mayor says they’ll need to decide on the size and scope of the project, including if they want to add more amenities to a new gym.