Mild winter a boost for construction of Lakin Community Center in Malvern

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August completion projected for $2.75 million fairgrounds facility

By Joe Foreman, Editor

MALVERN - A mild winter with minimal snowfall has been beneficial to the construction work taking place on the Charles E. and Florence M. Lakin Community Center on the Mills County Fairgrounds.
The shell of the 16,000 square-foot facility has been standing for weeks and construction workers have continued to make progress, even during a rainy first two weeks of spring.


“Andersen Construction has made good progress with the warmer winter weather,” Mills County Fair Board Building Committee member Chad McCollester said. “The completion date that we are being told is mid-August of this year.”

Located on the north side of the fairgrounds, near the main entrance, the climate-controlled building will be utilized for a variety of county fair activities, including project judging, queen pageant, working exhibits, bingo and other entertainment. With the capacity to seat up to 800 people, the community center will also be available throughout the year for educational programs, community events and private functions. The Mills County Extension Office will also be housed in the building.

If construction is completed in August, McCollester and fellow Building Committee spokesman Woody Wright believe the facility could start being utilized in the fall. Wright said the annual Mills County 4-H Awards program, typically held in late October, could be one of the first major events to be staged in the building.

The Lakin Community Center will house county fair activities for the first time in 2018.

The Mills County Fair Board is still accepting donations to help furnish the building, which carries a price tag of $2.75 million.

McCollester and Wright spearheaded the successful capital campaign for the facility, raising nearly $2.5 million. Funding includes $1 million from the Charles E.  and Florence M. Lakin Foundation, a $480,000 Vision Iowa Community Attractions and Tourism grant and numerous donations from private individuals, families and organizations.

Any person or organization interested in donating to the project should contact McCollester (712-525-9201) or Wright (402-740-4028).