The city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa is planning an estimated $2.1 million project that would use general fund money and insurance proceeds. The previous clubhouse was destroyed by a derecho in 2020. Two alternate items include an estimated $200,000 for solar power and $50,000 for wood on the ceiling, to help warm the building.
Ellis Golf Course—the oldest golf course in Cedar Rapids, Iowa—will soon be home to a rebuilt clubhouse that city officials hope will fuel economic development in the flood-damaged northwest quadrant by providing a space for golf tournaments and other events, The Gazette reported.
The Cedar Rapids City Council on July 27 approved plans for an estimated $2.1 million, 3,500-sq.-ft. Ellis Golf Course Clubhouse—serving as a larger replacement than the one that was destroyed in last summer’s derecho, The Gazette reported. It is anticipated to be complete by April 2022.
Parks and Recreation Director Scott Hock said this clubhouse will be larger in part to make it ADA-accessible and to allow for a more spacious facility on the golf course, The Gazette reported. The parking lot will remain the same.
The new addition of event space will be 2,300 sq. ft., Hock said, and fit about 120 people, but would be flexible depending on the arrangements, The Gazette reported. It also could provide space for events such as weddings, class reunions, family reunions, graduations and retirements.
The estimated $2.1 million project would be funded with general fund money and insurance proceeds, The Gazette reported. Plus, Hock said two alternate items include an estimated $200,000 for solar power and $50,000 for wood on the ceiling to help warm the building.
“I love the design and the views are spectacular,” Mayor Brad Hart said. “This is a very efficient design and it looks great, but we worked really hard to keep the cost down and yet have a terrific facility.”
Council member Ann Poe said this project coincides with work to connect nearby streets and improve access to the Northwest Neighborhood as well as more directly connect the area to an interstate and downtown, The Gazette reported.
The new clubhouse—at what Poe described as the city’s “premiere golf course”—could be an economic development tool as more traffic begins to flow into that part of town, Poe told The Gazette, and fuel recovery of the area, which was hard-hit in the 2008 flood.
“We’re the second largest city in the state of Iowa, and yet we don’t have a place to host golf tournaments,” Poe said. “All the tournaments go to surrounding communities … This is a real, in my opinion, economic development driver.”
Al Pierson, president of the Northwest Neighbors Neighborhood Association, told the council that residents would use this new space and that the 102-year-old golf course—what he considered the “crown jewel” of Cedar Rapids’ municipal golf courses—deserves a nice clubhouse, The Gazette reported.
“It would be good for small businesses, caterers and other people to supply the food, and be a great place for wedding receptions. I know that there’s a little flower shop on Ellis Boulevard that would like this too,” said Pierson.
Linda Seger, past neighborhood association president, also spoke in support of the clubhouse, The Gazette reported. Although it was destroyed in the derecho, she said this was an opportunity for the city to rebuild it even better and draw people to hold events at this venue.
“This is actually a gem of the city, this golf course and this park, and how it sits on the top of the hill and overlooks the Cedar River,” Seger said.