The Cambridge City Council held a groundbreaking on March 16 to kick off construction of a $2 million community building.


The community center will be located on the corner of Third and Water Street. The 9,750-square-foot building will house the library, City Hall and a community room for events that can handle up to 250 people.


“Cambridge is located in a growth corridor between Ames and Ankeny,” said Scott DeYoung, Cambridge mayor. “A new community multiple-use building will provide a modern City Hall, library and community room that will offer an affordable venue for private and public events.”


The new building will include 918 square feet for City Hall, 1,273 square feet for the library, 6,000 square feet for the community room and 1,559 square feet for common areas.


Construction of a new building will open up both City Hall and the library locations for new businesses to move to Cambridge.


Both buildings are located on Water Street, which is the main business area in Cambridge.


“It’s a much-needed building,” said Roger Griffith, Cambridge resident. “The library is going to expand and provide better facilities and that’s exciting.


“The fact that we will have a place for a large group, from 190 to 250 people, for a program is exciting, because that’s something that is needed in Cambridge.”


“I think this building will revitalize our downtown and bring in more businesses,” said Dale Hennick, Cambridge public works director.


“I think a new community center will be good for the town,” said Tricia Todd, Cambridge City Council member. “Not only will it bring in a bigger library, so there will be more selections and opportunity for the kids, but there will also be a nice rental center that will bring in new opportunities.”


The multi-functional building is listed as one of Story County’s Urban Renewal Areas, which allows the city to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to fund the project.


DeYoung said the city will take out an eight-year $1.3 million loan that will be paid for using TIF funding, which means no property tax increases for this project in Cambridge.


In 2016, only five cities in Story County had Urban Renewal Area Projects, and those included Cambridge, Collins, Huxley, Slater and Story City. More information is available on the Story County website.


Another $170,000 has been raised through donations and grants for the building. DeYoung continues to work with volunteers and grant writers to apply for additional funding to finance the project.


Anyone interested in donating can contact the Story County Community Foundation and ask about donating to the Cambridge Community Center fund at www.storycountyfoundation.org or calling (515) 232-9200.


The project is scheduled for completion in December. DeYoung said the city will start taking reservations for weddings, graduations and other events for the community room, beginning in September for 2018.