State, County officials ponder future of Glenwood Resource Center Property
Discussions continue to take place concerning the future of the property that currently houses the Glenwood Resource Center (GRC).
In April, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the closure of the state-managed facility that provides residential care and other services for Iowans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. At the time of the closure announcement, the GRC housed 150 residents with intellectual and physical disabilities and employed over 400 workers. The state intends to have the GRC closed by the end of 2024.
According to the Iowa Department of Human Services (IDHS), the GRC will continue to provide care for its residents over the next two years while working with their guardians and families to transition them to community placements or other facilities. Staff members are being offered retention incentives to continue working at GRC during the closure process. IDHS says it will also assist staff in identifying new career opportunities in Iowa as their employment nears an end.
Additionally, the state said it will work with local government officials and community leaders to minimize the impact on the Glenwood community and Mills County, and to identify alternative uses for the GRC campus after the facility closes.
“The state wants to turn it over to a group here in Mills County with some state representation, local and county,” State Rep. David Sieck of Glenwood said last week during an interview with The Opinion-Tribune.
Sieck said discussions have included the possibility of having both public and private entities on the campus. A focal point of those discussions, Sieck said, is the need for a direct entrance onto the property from U.S. Highway 34.
“For it to be functional – to rent those buildings or to sell them off – they’re kind of wanting a road off of Highway 34, an intersection,” he said. “The goal is to get a road off of Highway 34 because it’s so hard to get into that place with the narrow bridges (tunnels).”
Possible locations for a Highway 34 entrance onto the property include the intersection with Levi Road or near the road that runs from the GRC underneath Highway 34 to Campbell Lake, which is located on the south side of the Highway.
The 906-acre Glenwood Archaeological State Preserve, located along Highway 34 near Levi Road presents a challenge to construction of a new entrance onto the property, Sieck said.
“There’s tribal remains on the ground that they gave to the preserve,” he said.
Sieck said he envisions the campus shared by public and private entities after the state vacates the property in 2024.
“It’s going to be complicated,” he said. “If it all ends up being public buildings, it’s not going to benefit the city much. They’re going to have to maintain all the roads. We’re going to need some tax-paying businesses up there to make this whole thing work in the long run.”