JOICE, Iowa - It's a story we've covered since the day it happened. Last September, the Joice Library went up in flames, leaving the building, and all the books, as well as some records and memorabilia of the town's history, destroyed. Now, the state is getting involved in the efforts to rebuild.
The Enhance Iowa Board, through the Iowa Economic Development Authority, awarded $341,500 to the city through a Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant, one of nine communities in the state receiving them. The money will go towards construction of the 3,857 sq. ft. library and city hall (which will be across the street from the old building), as well as a 5,000 sq. ft. community center in an empty lot just down the street.
Ron Miller is on the city council, and vividly remembers that fateful day. Since then, the city has seen some notable donors that are chipping in towards rebuilding the community hub.
"We've had local fundraisers. We had a pulled pork dinner in the park and raised $10,000 off of that. We sent out postcards to past alumni, and got a $10,000 donation from one of the people that didn't even know about it. But when they got the postcard, they sent in $10,000."
Now he's looking forward to when shovels are in the ground.
"I just wish it could start this fall, but according to our engineer, we'd be better off waiting until January."
The city is continuing to apply for grants and other funding sources for the remainder of the $1,886,342 project.
- Joice receiving state money to rebuild library
- Fundraising efforts for Joice library on track for rebuilding
- Joice library reopens in temporary location
- Donations being accepted for Joice library after fire
- Joice library asking for a brief halt on book donations
- Joice man sentenced for drug possession
- Photo gallery: Aftermath of a fire that destroyed the Joice library
- Fire at Joice library described as 'devastating' (with video, photos from the scene)
- Drone footage: An aerial view of the devastation to the Joice library
- Donations and support continue to come in to Joice after last month's library fire