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new Click here for the Community Cultural Center Business Plan (PDF) (updated 9/29/07)

Project Restore to Begin Fundraising Campaign for Restoration of Historic All Saints as a Community Cultural Center.

Project Restore has some exciting news! We have a brief window of opportunity to restore Historic All Saints as we strive to match a State Vision Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant toward turning Historic All Saints into a community cultural center.

The restored building would not be a church or affiliated with any church. It would not look identical to the original structure, but it would reflect the original architecture while incorporating state-of-the-art features. The community cultural center could house school plays, concerts, weddings, family reunions, business meetings and more. And best of all, we can build it by raising just $250,000 of matching funds. Here is how it would work…

The cost of turning the existing building into a community cultural center would be $2.3 million. This is the cost of what is termed “adaptive reuse” where a structure is converted from its original use into a building with different functions. The $2.3 million is to restore the building without the dome, but with a fully-functioning auditorium for performances, weddings and meetings, and a basement for additional functions.

The building would feature the exposed original interior brick and stone work and feel of original grandeur. The plan is that limestone walls in the basement, beautiful in their current state, would be left exposed and that the main level interior brickwork would be left exposed, while some of the beautiful plasterwork would be restored.

The community center would seat up to 500 people. Events at the community center would generate economic development by creating overnight hotel stays, restaurant and retail sales, as well as creating new jobs. During construction, local hardware, lumber and construction sales would create immediate local economic development. By creating overnight hotel stays, we greatly enhance spending locally. An average overnight stay results in over $150 of spending per room for the hotel room rate, restaurant and other spending according the Iowa Tourism Office.

The ability to create overnight stays in Stuart hotels is the reason we would utilize a hotel/motel tax grant over a period of several years. Fifty percent of the hotel/motel tax by Iowa law must be invested in tourism development. The most effective investment is in creating tourism venues and opportunities such as a community center for hosting cultural events. The hotel/motel tax grant, along with the State CAT grant and the local fundraising combined would provide the necessary funds to develop the community center.

By the way, in case you are wondering… it is possible to replace the dome; however, it would cost an estimated additional $360,000. If by some stroke of luck, we were to raise $360,000, in addition to the cost of restoring the rest of the building, we would replace the dome. There are additional ideas for replacing the dome, such as restoring the drum of the dome without the copper portion, which gives the building a unique Roman look. This option would be $48,000.

We will be fundraising locally, as well as among our faithful supporters to request pledges. We aren’t asking for the money yet – that comes only after all elements are in place for us to begin restoration, so you can be confident that your pledge will only be utilized toward restoration. In-kind contributions such as labor and construction services are as valuable as cash as these contributions decrease restoration costs. We already have over $90,000 in in-kind pledges, in addition to over $40,000 in cash pledges!

Many people may have questions and ideas that they would like to express. And we’d like to show you the award-winning restoration we have already done to Historic All Saints. Please contact Dick Doherty or Tom Smull II with any questions, comments and ideas or if you’d like to meet in person. You can reach Dick at 515-523-2921 / rdohe97272@aol.com Tom at 515-280-7234 (work), 515-225-7369 (home) or tsmull@associationsinc.us. Actually, you can email or call in your pledge – it's that informal at this stage. Once we are sure restoration will begin, we will contact you regarding a contribution schedule toward your pledge.

There is a time frame that the CAT committee has asked for us to raise the funds – they have a limited amount of Vision Iowa funds and need to distribute them to the communities most able to respond, so we are trying to raise our matching funds quickly. Our goal is to raise at least $100,000 by Christmas and the additional funds raised by the end of January.

Please consider what you might be able to do in our effort to provide Stuart with a community center and save one of the most important buildings in the state – a building that has a lot of meaning to you.

Please complete the Cash Donation Pledge Form or In-Kind Donation Pledge Form and return it to us by faxing it to 515-280-6399 or emailing it to Tom or Dick at the email addresses above. At this time, all you need to do is pledge an amount. We will get in touch with you regarding the time period in which you are able to provide the funds. No funds will be required until we are sure restoration is happening. All donations are tax deductible as the Project Restore Foundation is a non-profit corporation. Thank you for your time and support!

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