March 15th is a special day. In 1929, many Marshalltown residents gathered to dedicate the Memorial Coliseum and hold a grand opening. More than 90 years later, Marshalltown residents and supporters of the Coliseum were able to gather to do the same thing. More than 50 individuals attended a dedication ceremony on March 15th, while hundreds more attended an open house as their chance to walk around the newly renovated building.
The renovation of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum started in late 2016 with a grant from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation to study possible ways to make the building more functional. This led to a design to remove the stage and the balcony and to add in a second full-size gym, along with taking care of a number of code-related issues. This plan was moving forward when the tornado hit on July 19, 2018, causing significant damage to the building. The roof was torn off along with the sprinkler system which was not able to be disabled until about 24 hours later. Water filled the basements and destroyed much of the old plaster interior. But the building was structurally sound. Emergency work resulted in a new roof and some significant demolition and removals on the interior. On March 15, 2019, the effort to fundraise $1.35 million kicked off, and was completed only a year later. Garling Construction started work in January 2020, and the renovation was completed in January 2021.
Thank you to the more than 400 donors who gave to this project!