The office of Community Enhancement & Engagement works to develop sustainable, collaborative community partnerships to improve the quality of life in Grinnell by addressing relevant community priorities. Most recently, the college and community launched partnerships in the areas of economic development and education. A 2016 Iowa Reinvestment Application focuses on community revitalization and improving the visitor experience and the Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership is a community-wide initiative supporting early literacy and post-graduate success.
Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership
The Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership brings together community non-profits, area employers, the Grinnell-Newburg School District, and community volunteers to support kids and families in Grinnell. Supported by a team of AmeriCorps Members embedded in host sites across the community, the partnership is helping to ensure that Grinnell’s kids get both a strong start and a strong finish to their school experience.
Iowa Reinvestment Projects
With five community improvement projects aimed at improving quality of life for residents and enhancing Grinnell’s visitor experience, the City of Grinnell and Grinnell College were awarded a $6.85 million state tax rebate incentive. Projects include:
- Downtown Boutique Hotel and Events Center. Remodeling the current community center into a downtown boutique hotel and events center. Project lead: Private local development group.
- Central Park. Complete rebuild of Central Park to ensure that it remains the cultural and social center of our community for years to come. Project lead: City of Grinnell.
- Downtown Public Infrastructure and Streetscape. Completion of Phase 5 of the project to replace all the public infrastructure in Grinnell’s downtown. Project lead: City of Grinnell.
- Zone of Confluence. Create a connection between the Grinnell College campus and downtown Central Business District in order to better support the social and economic vitality of downtown Grinnell. Project lead: Grinnell College.
- Grinnell College Campus Improvements. Complete “Phase I” of Grinnell College’s Campus Plan. Phase I includes a new Humanities and Social Studies Complex, a new Admissions and Visitor Center, and comprehensive landscaping. Project lead: Grinnell College.
Grinnell Schools Taskforce
The 2015 Grinnell Schools Taskforce convened stakeholders from Grinnell College and the Grinnell Newburg School District to identify opportunities for more effective partnership. Several key recommendations are now being addressed through the Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership.