116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The oldest golf course in Cedar Rapids will soon be home to a rebuilt clubhouse that city officials hope will fuel economic development in the flood-damaged northwest quadrant by providing a space for golf tournaments and other events.
The Cedar Rapids City Council on Tuesday approved plans for an estimated $2.1 million, 3,500-square-foot Ellis Golf Course Clubhouse — serving as a larger replacement than the one that was destroyed in last summer’s derecho. It is anticipated to be complete by April 2022.
Parks and Recreation Director Scott Hock said this clubhouse will be larger in part to make it ADA-accessible and to allow for a more spacious facility on the golf course, located at 1401 Zika Ave. NW. The parking lot will remain the same.
The new addition of event space will be 2,300 square feet, Hock said, and fit about 120 people but would be flexible depending on the arrangements. It also could provide space for events such as weddings, class reunions, family reunions, graduations and retirements.
The estimated $2.1 million project would be funded with general fund money and insurance proceeds. Plus, Hock said two alternate items include an estimated $200,000 for solar power and $50,000 for wood on the ceiling to help warm the building. Bids are due July 28.
“I love the design and the views are spectacular,” Mayor Brad Hart said. “This is a very efficient design and it looks great, but we worked really hard to keep the cost down and yet have a terrific facility.”
Council member Ann Poe said this project coincides with work to connect Sixth Street and Ellis Boulevard NW, which city officials say will ease traffic flow and improve access to the Northwest Neighborhood as well as more directly connect the area to Interstate 380 and downtown via First Avenue W.
The new clubhouse -- at what Poe described as the city’s “premiere golf course” -- could be an economic development tool as more traffic begins to flow into that part of town, Poe said, and fuel recovery of the area, which was hard-hit in the 2008 flood.
“We're the second largest city in the state of Iowa, and yet we don't have a place to host golf tournaments,” Poe said. “All the tournaments go to surrounding communities... This is a real, in my opinion, economic development driver.”
Al Pierson, president of the Northwest Neighbors Neighborhood Association, told the council that residents would use this new space and that the 102-year-old golf course — what he considered the “crown jewel” of Cedar Rapids’ municipal golf courses — deserves a nice clubhouse.
“It would be good for small businesses, caterers and other people to supply the food, and be a great place for wedding receptions. I know that there's a little flower shop on Ellis Boulevard that would like this too,” said Pierson, referring to his own Pierson’s Flower Shop.
Linda Seger, past neighborhood association president, also spoke in support of the clubhouse. Although it was destroyed in the derecho, she said this was an opportunity for the city to rebuild it even better and draw people to hold events at this venue.
“This is actually a gem of the city, this golf course and this park, and how it sits on the top of the hill and overlooks the Cedar River,” Seger said.
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