Marshalltown recognized as Iowa Great Place

Marshalltown is officially an Iowa Great Place.

City leaders, state leaders, board members, the public and representatives from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs filled the Marshalltown Public Library’s community room Friday to recognize the city’s new title as an Iowa Great Place.

With the recognition, representatives from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs will donate $350,000 in grant money to add public art to the 13th Street District and to the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse renovation project.

“This is a well-deserved recognition,” said Mary Cownie, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “We have a lot of great things going on around the state and this is one you should especially feel very proud of. You were recently recognized as an All-America City, it sounds like you are on a roll. The momentum you have in your community is very exciting.”

The Marshalltown High School Roundhouse renovation is receiving $250,000 of the grant funds.

“It’s going to have tremendous impact on the things we wanted to do in terms of its art, ascetics and lighting- the things that make it unique,” said Aiddy Phomvisay, Marshalltown High School principal. “We’re really excited and grateful.”

The 13th Street District was awarded $100,000.

“The sculpture is going in in October,” said Fauna Nord, 13th Street District committee member. “I’m so thankful. It is very exciting.”

Mayor Jim Lowrance said he was happy to receive the recognition and grant money.

“It’s an indication of what I think Marshalltown already knew,” Lowrance said. “Marshalltown is a great place to live. It’s just recognition of all the good things that are going on in Marshalltown. It will also give us some additional momentum and enthusiasm for the other projects.”

Mary Giese, executive director of the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance, was part of the core grant team that filled out the application to become an Iowa Great Place.

“The mission of the alliance is to enhance life,” Giese said. “We believe art does that so we wanted to find a way to have art in the community. I was thrilled when I found out (we won) and we are very happy for the community. We think it will make a nice difference.”