Working towards the goal

Briggs Woods Conference Center prepping for bidding process

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Pictured above is one of the golf cart sheds at Briggs Woods Golf Course, according to Kelly Haman, Briggs Woods Golf Course Event Coordinator, this shed will be taken down this fall to make room for the future Briggs Woods Conference Center. The propane tank and small shed to the left of the shed will be moved also.

As donations continue to roll in for the future Briggs Woods Conference Center, projected plans are beginning to become a reality.

As of Thursday morning, the Briggs Woods Conference Center has over $2M in secured funding for the project. Having reached this goal, bids can now be put out for contractors.

“We’ve secured the monies to move forward with the bidding process and to get into construction,” said Kelly Haman, special events coordinator at Briggs Woods Golf Course. “We’re still fundraising. We’ve got equipment and things like that to purchase, so we are still fundraising.”

Now that the funds have been secured, officials should have a better idea of the total cost of the project and allow them to narrow down other details that have yet to be defined. The project was originally estimated to cost $2.6 million. Minor changes were made to the plans to bring down the cost estimate and meet certain requirements for the grant.

“Until the bids come back, we won’t have exact prices,” Haman said.

When bids come back, a more exact cost for the whole project will be available. This will also narrow down when groundbreaking and construction can begin. They hope to receive bids by the middle of September so that they can begin ground work this fall yet.

“The whole process kind of kicks off here next week,” said Haman. “It’s an exciting time to get the bid requests out to the contractors and really get that rolling.”

According to Haman, a handful of local contractors have noted their interest in the project.

“Our architect has said there is a lot of interest,” said Haman.

“He’s thinks there’s six or seven companies that will be interested that he knows of – Iowa based companies,” said Russ Appel, Briggs Woods Golf Course Superintendent.

Rental shed demolition

In order to make room for the future conference center, one of the golf cart sheds near the club house will be taken down this fall. A propane tank and smaller shed that reside next to the rental shed will be moved farther back along the property to make way for the center as well.

“We’re going to begin demolition of our rental shed here, probably the second Monday in September we’re going to start working on tearing that down,” said Appel.

Some tree removal will also be required before grading on site can begin.

“As soon as the bid is awarded to the company hopefully they will get someone onsite almost immediately,” Appel said. “There’s a lot of ground to move.”

The existing driving range at the course will be leveled out. According to Appel, they plan to place additional parking where the driving range is currently located.

“With the full driving range in town, it’s not a necessity that we have one here,” said Appel.

Brick campaign

“We are right now about to embark on our brick campaign. We’ve sold a lot of the bricks that will be in the gazebo in the outdoor events area,” Haman said.

The concrete pathway leading up to the gazebo will be lined with bricks. These bricks will bear the names of the businesses, organizations and community members who choose to purchase them. Bricks can be purchased for $250 a brick.

“We’re really starting in with that brick campaign now and hoping to get people’s commitments by Dec. 1 so we can go ahead and get all of those made,” said Haman.

“We’ve got quite a few of them already and are anticipating more now that it’s official and we’re moving forward,” Haman said. “There’s been a lot of people asking about making sure they can get their names on those.”

To purchase a brick, individuals can contact the Briggs Woods Clubhouse at (515) 832-9572. Individuals can also check out the Briggs Woods Golf Course and Briggs Woods Conference Center Facebook pages for updates and other information.

“We’ll be doing a lot more posting on the Briggs Woods Conference Center Facebook page as things really get going here and we get things out to bid in the next couple of weeks,” said Haman. “I know people are excited to watch things happening. We are too.”

Haman and Appel noted that none of this would be possible without the support of many local businesses, organizations and individuals.

“As always, a huge thank you to all of our donors, our granters, our supporters, the supervisors and conservation board,” said Haman. “Without all of them, this certainly wouldn’t happen.”