The new Cambridge City Center opened its doors on Dec. 16 with an open house, free meal, tours and ribbon cutting.


“The Cambridge City Center is a great improvement to our downtown,” said Scott DeYoung, outgoing Cambridge mayor.


DeYoung and Steve Kovarick, incoming mayor, were the official ribbon cutters at the ceremony. Tricia Todd and Dave Thom, who both serve on the council, were also present, along with City Clerk Deb Thompson.


“Cambridge has been blessed over the last 16 years to have a mayor like Scott, who worked hard to improve the town,” said Kovarick. “A modern building such as this, which will house City Hall, the library and a wonderful gathering space, will stand for many years, keeping our community close-knit and eventually thriving.”


More than 250 people toured the $2 million facility, which is located on the corner of Third and Water streets. Cambridge residents were impressed with the facility.


“It’s a fabulous building and a super nice addition. It makes our town look very nice,” said Pam Heward.


“We are fortunate to have everyone who donated time to bring this all together,” said Carolyn Sesker, who lives just outside Cambridge.


“It’s a beautiful building, and it will be an asset for our community,” said Sonja Carmon.


“It’s wonderful and hopefully it will bring everyone together,” said Laurie Foderberg.


“I think it’s awesome. It’s a great place to bring people together because it’s so big,” said Pam Anderson.


The multi-functional building is located in an Urban Renewal Area, which allows the city to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to fund the project. DeYoung said the city will take out an eight-year $1.4 million dollar loan that will be paid back using TIF funding, which means no property tax increases to fund the project.


In 2016, only five cities in Story County had Urban Renewal Area Projects and those included Cambridge, Collins, Huxley, Slater and Story City. More information is available on the Story County website.


The 9,750-square-foot building will include 918 square feet for City Hall, 1,273 square feet for the library, 6,000 square feet for the community room and 1,559 square feet for common areas. The community room can hold up to 250 people for events.


Close to $240,000 has been raised through donations and grants for the building. Grants included $110,000 from the Story County Supervisors, $60,000 from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, $15,000 from the Union Pacific Railroad Foundation, $4,072 from Story County Community Foundation, $5,000 from the Kinney-Lindstrom Foundation and $5,000 from the Iowa Area Development Group and Huxley Communications.


Corporate sponsors who helped furnish the building include Center Grove Orchard, Longnecker Fertilizer, Insulation Contractor Services, Heartland Cooperative, Strautman Tree Farm, General Insurance, Precision Underground, Ankeny Sanitation and Fox Engineering.


The open house was sponsored by Strautman Tree Farm of Cambridge. The Cambridge American Legion donated treats for children visiting Santa. Mark Benson, a Cambridge photographer, provided free photos with Santa.


The community room is available for weddings, graduations and other events. Reservations can be made by calling city hall at 515-220-4541.