Subscribe for 33¢ / day

WATERLOO — The Black Hawk County Gaming Association on Monday unanimously awarded a $1 million grant to Hawkeye Community College for its planned new adult learning center.

Hawkeye received one of six grants approved by the association’s board as part of its quarterly disbursement of funds from the Isle Casino and Hotel in Waterloo. The association holds the casino’s gaming license and receives 5.75 percent of the casino’s gross receipts to disburse in grants to nonprofit and public projects.

The $13 million, 45,000-square-foot adult learning center will be built between West Mullan Avenue and West First Street on the south side of Jefferson Street. About $8 million of the cost will come from a $25 million bond issue passed in February 2015. Remaining funding sources will include other grants and a capital campaign.

Board members noted in the motion to approve the Hawkeye grant that if the scope of the project is reduced because the needed funds aren’t raised, college officials would need to return to them for a review of the grant’s size. The funds will be disbursed over three years.

A hub for educational and assistance services, the center will house nursing and computer numerical control machining programs, English language learner and adult basic education programs, a childcare center, a medical clinic, and a third-floor event center and art gallery. Construction is expected to begin this spring. Hawkeye’s Metro Center, 844 W. Fourth St., and Martin Luther King Jr. Center, 515 Beech St., will close when the new center opens.

Other grants awarded Monday included:

$500,000 to the Waterloo Leisure Services for boat house enhancements.

$400,000 to Christian Community Development/House of Hope to renovate transitional housing on West Fourth Street, creating 15 apartments for homeless single women and their children.

$61,750 to the American Red Cross for a next generation emergency response vehicle.

$20,550 to the city of Shell Rock Emergency Services for a compressor and self-contained breathing apparatus.

$1,997 to Comprehensive Systems, Inc. for a multi-sensory environment project at a group home in Waterloo.

Requested projects that didn’t get funded were for $57,500 for the the Aspire Therapy Riding Program and $2,500 for Bel Canto Cedar Valley.

In other business, the board approved an extension for the Cedar Bend Humane Society until Dec. 31 to use a $10,000 grant awarded in August 2015. The agency was supposed to use the grant, which is to build an outreach facility for volunteers, by this past September.

The board also heard a report that adjusted gross revenues for casinos across the state were down 4 percent in January compared to a year earlier. Admissions were down 5 percent. At the Isle, revenues were down 4 percent and admissions were down 14 percent.


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

Load comments