Spring project planned for Woodbury Extension
By JOLENE STEVENS
SIOUX CITY – With more demands on services offered to Woodbury County residents, both rural and urban, the Iowa State University Extension staff is fundraising to build a new complex.
“We’ve simply outgrown our current office space and ability to handle the sizable number of those using what we have to offer,” said Alan Ralston, of Moville, treasurer of the Woodbury County Extension Council.
The new 6,600-square-foot, $1.2 million office complex is to be built at 4720 Southern Hills Drive, Sioux City.
A fundraising drive is attempting to procure $300,000 that could commence a spring groundbreaking, Ralston said. So far, the effort has raised $175,000.
“We’ve had considerable success with a number of local agriculture-related businesses, corporations and individuals making contributions to the project,” Ralston said, adding that larger contributors will be recognized with naming rights within the new office complex.
Sherry McGill, Region 5 Extension director, said the opportunities to serve more people with more programs are a significant part of the new building effort.
“Just one example of this is we cannot train all of the people that want to take our monthly ServSafe class, which helps restaurant managers get certified in safe food handling,” McGill said.
“I am most excited that we will have an educational room that is more than twice the size of our current location, and we will have space for all the staff we currently have in Woodbury County,” she said. “Presently, there are many staff members who do not have a work space at our facility, and they work from their homes.
“We will also have a smaller conference room for meetings and a large reception area that can also be used for educational events.”
This, she added, will allow, with a portion of the budget, to keep the office’s total budget in line with previous rent expenditures, while providing twice the extra footage.
McGill said it’s more cost-effective for Extension to own the building. Meanwhile, she added, contributions from additional companies or individuals are welcome.
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