Iowa Community Takes Pride in Rec Center Expansion
17 Nov 2023
New Audubon Recreation Center Amenities Set for 2024
The Beatles once famously sang, “Come together, right now.” While the tune may have had nothing to do with economic development, the lyrics certainly align with the intention of the Audubon Recreation Center (ARC) in Audubon, Iowa. Built in 2018 as a gathering place for the surrounding community to enjoy health, wellness and the company of fellow residents, expansion plans for the ARC are underway, with completion expected by early 2024.
Five years after the original development, the expansion includes a walking track, basketball/volleyball courts, workout area, batting cage, meeting space, a restaurant and bowling alley.
“We are looking to have something for everyone here,” says Dan Bierbrodt, ARC Manager. “No matter what age, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the ARC and all it offers.”
According to Sara Slater, Audubon County Economic Development, the hope is to create a family-friendly atmosphere with activities to fit everyone’s interests. Children’s play areas, bowling leagues and special events are expected to attract a wide range of demographics in the community.
“From an economic development standpoint, there will be job creation,” says Slater. “But the facility’s biggest role is providing the “quality of life” component and helping companies when recruiting potential employees. The venue has a lot of people that come from a 30-plus mile radius, so that helps in visitor spending. Many companies host meetings there as well.”
According to Bierbrodt, the project’s total price tag, including the original development and the expansion, is $5 million. “This has been important to the area because it is community-funded. With the help of grants and public donations, this is a facility for the public to utilize and take a lot of pride in,” he said.
Adds Slater, “The venue is a great example of rural small-town success. The project is led by a group of local residents who saw a hole in what they wanted for their families and worked together to build it. The center has also been a blessing for families that need somewhere for their children to go prior to them getting off work since it's within walking distance to the middle and high school.”