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West Liberty Partners with Eastern Iowa Community College for a Creative Workspace

Liberty Communications of West Liberty, Iowa, inspired a $5,000 matching Ripple Effect grant for theWest Liberty Regional Learning and Cultural Center

Through a joint effort, West Liberty Economic Area Development (We Lead) and Eastern Iowa Community College (EICC) formed the new West Liberty Regional Learning and Cultural Center (RLCC). The partnership transformed two former storefronts on West Liberty’s main street into a single educational center at 119 East Third Street. The cost to redesign the center was nearly $500,000 and a ribbon cutting ceremony held on May 04, 2016 commemorated the grand opening of the facility. 

The main focus of the RLCC is education but the space also allows for some general community usage. EICC, through its Muscatine Community College campus, will provide a wide range of educational services at the center. Those services include college level classes, continuing education classes that students can take to pursue a hobby or brush up on skills needed in the workplace, English as a Second Language, high school equivalency classes, Certified Nurse Aide training and dual credit classes for high school students. A commercial kitchen is also available in the rear of the building. 

A Ripple Effect grant matched a grant by Liberty Communications to provide $10,000 for architecture and design services. The interior of the original buildings were completely redone from wall to wall. The two structures have been joined together and the first-level floor plan redesigned to provide for multiple uses and upper story residential on the second level.

“Having a formal center in West Liberty where we can hold classes and truly be a visible part of the community is something we have been working toward and dreaming about for many years,” said Muscatine Community College President Naomi DeWinter. “We couldn’t be happier to see this finally becoming a reality.”

The building has a large community space that can be used for public gatherings. That space can also be divided into smaller rooms as needed. In addition to the classroom spaces, the offices for We Lead and the Chamber of Commerce have moved into the new structure. We Lead is a partnership with Iowa State University’s Extension and Outreach program, which will also be a part of the new facility.

For more information about the West Liberty Regional Learning and Cultural Center, contact the We Lead offices at 319-627-4045.