Plans revealed – Briggs Woods Conference Center public forum held

By Adri Sietstra (asietstra@freemanjournal.netThe Daily Freeman Journal

The Enhance Hamilton County Foundation teamed up with officials from Briggs Woods Golf Course to present locals with information about the proposed Briggs Woods Conference Center Tuesday night at the Briggs Woods Golf Course.

“The main reason we’re here this evening is we wanted to propose a project that we’ve been thinking about for quite awhile. It’s an addition to the clubhouse that would handle larger events such as weddings and larger business meetings and that type of thing,” said Russ Appel, Briggs Woods Golf Course General Manager.

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Tyler Abens looks over the proposed Briggs Woods Conference Center plans Tuesday night at a public forum for the proposed event center. The plans were voluntarily drawn by architect Brock Cartwright, a Webster City native who now resides in Boone.

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra
Tyler Abens looks over the proposed Briggs Woods Conference Center plans Tuesday night at a public forum for the proposed event center. The plans were voluntarily drawn by architect Brock Cartwright, a Webster City native who now resides in Boone.

An event center committee, the conservation board, county supervisors, and the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation Advisory Board were beneficial in getting the proposed event center plans started.

Kelly Haman, Briggs Woods Golf Course Event Coordinator, brought up the need for a larger facility. Haman referenced the addition of the 2012 Events Expansion Project which included a garden tenting service with hosting and catering capabilities suitable for upscale weddings. With the capabilities the proposed addition, Briggs Woods will be able to attract more public events like conferences and gatherings that occur outside of the summer months.

“About a year and a half ago we started meeting with Enhance Hamilton County Foundation. They threw their support behind the project…they’ve been a wonderful asset in getting us started on our fundraising endeavors,” Haman said.

During the planning stages, committee members met with architect Brock Cartwright, a Webster City native who now resides in Boone. Cartwright voluntarily drew up potential plans to scale for the proposed addition.

The addition includes retractable walls for multiple rooms in the building, full audio and visual equipment, and aesthetic improvements to the existing building including new restrooms. The addition will be 80-feet by 40 -feet and will attach to the 40-feet by 27-feet existing space, which will create roughly 4,280 square feet of event space. The event center will hold a maximum of 350 people. Another proposed part of the addition is a 900 square foot entry that will include new restrooms.

Haman noted aesthetic updates will be done to ensure the addition and original building flow and look alike.

Appel noted the need for an indoor event and conference center. The event center would bring more people to the Webster City area, giving the local economy a boost. Local jobs will be created. Businesses and hotels will have more traffic. The event center will also provide locals with an updated conference site for workshops and special events.

“Our goal is to do this entire project with the use of private funds and grants,” Appel said.

Donations and contributions towards the event center can be put towards two different funds. The Hamilton County Event Center Fund will contribute to construction of the event center. Those who contribute to this fund may have bricks, benches, and more named after them dependent upon the size of the donation. The Endow Iowa Fund will put monetary donations toward the sustainability of the event center and its upkeep.

According to Joe Sorenson, Director of Affiliate Relations with the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, donors also will be able to take advantage of the Endow Iowa Tax Credit which gives a 25% state income tax credit.

“We’d like to start construction right after Labor Day with hopes of getting the whole project done by March 1st or March 15 of 2017,” said Russ Appel, Briggs Woods General Manager. “The next couple months are going to be critical. This was kind of our kickoff for the fundraising. We want to get those funds coming in.”

Appel estimates construction costs to be nearly $750,000. Appel is hoping to start construction after Labor Day, provided funding comes through. Appel is hoping to start booking clients for the new event center as early as May 1, 2017.

“This is the kickoff. If anyone wants to make a donation to the project they can call us out here at the club house or they can contact Darcy Swon, Enhance Hamilton County Development Director, or they can come down here. We’re always willing to talk about it,” said Appel.

Swon can be reached at (515) 835-0437 or dswon@enhancehamiltoncounty.org.

To view this story as it appeared in the Daily Freeman Journal, click here.

 

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