People eager for community center to open in Solon

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SOLON, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A one hundred year old middle school will have a new life in Solon.

Some people in Solon have wanted this to happen for a while because space is hard to come in the growing community. So when the school district opened a new middle school this year, the town jumped to take advantage of the space. There is a lot of history in the walls of Solon's old middle school, but a lot of future, too.

"I think it's a great opportunity that we're using a building with so much rich history in town when everyone knows where it is," said Dannisha Pugh of Solon.

Pugh is part of a moms coffee group that already rents a room here once a week. She said coming here beats a drive to Mt. Vernon or Iowa City.

"A group of women who want to get together and don't always want to go all over town to each other's homes. We just found Tuesday mornings to come together as moms and discuss life," said Pugh.

She said gym space has always been a problem.

"So knowing that younger kids and the rec groups can have more of a space availability is going to be huge for our programs," said Pugh.

"It makes no sense to go build a new building when you have a facility sitting here just waiting to be used," said Cami Rasmussen, the city administrator for the city of Solon.

Rasmussen said other rooms are already being leased for zumba classes, dance programs as well as youth and adult athletic leagues.

"We really feel like we can come in with little effort and getting this building serving the community as soon as possible," said Rasmussen.

"It's been a struggle in recent years to find places that we can have adult classes and in some cases youth rec activities," said Mike Reeve, the city activities director of Solon.

Rasmussen said she's eager to see the community center open.

"I think the excitement level in this community is really high. We'll have a place to come together," said Rasmussen.

Right now, the school district is still cleaning out the building and rents out rooms on a case by case basis. The city hopes to take it over and open the community center by summer.