Groundbreaking set for Waverly veterans center - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Groundbreaking set for Waverly veterans center

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

Work is expected to begin next week on a new place for Bremer County veterans.

It's a center that's been nearly 7 years in the making.

The floods of 2008 wiped out AMVETS Post 79, which was located on the banks of the Cedar River.

Flooding also heavily damaged American Legion Post 176 - also on the southeast side of town.

So the veterans organizations in Waverly teamed up to come together in one facility.

The new Waverly Area Veterans Post brings the VFW, American Legion, AMVETS, and Marine Corps League all under the same roof.

The land just off 4th Street NW in Waverly is about to change.

Soon, construction crews will transform the land into the Waverly Area Veterans Post.

The 17,000 square foot, 2-story building will provide services for all area veterans and house all four of Waverly's veterans organizations.

"It's very unique. We're the first post in Iowa to combine the 4 posts into one facility and possibly the country," said Larry Buchholz, WAVP Board Vice President.

While the location still sits on the banks of the Cedar River, VFW Post 2208 was the only veterans facility to survive the 2008 flood intact, making it the perfect location.

The current VFW post will be torn down.

The AMVETS building was demolished as part of a FEMA buyout.

In the interim, all the groups will use the American Legion post - which will be sold once the new building is completed.

The groups have already worked together for the Veterans Tribute - which honors all branches of the military and veterans with ties to Bremer County.

They've spent the last 7 years drumming up support and money to get the veterans post built.

"Everybody seems to have adopted the philosophy of we can do it so much more working together and provide much more and much better service to the veterans," said Carl Benning, WAVP Vice Chair.

Now, 7 years after the flood, the post will break ground on the new building Wednesday.

"That's the first breath you're gonna take. That's the easiest part right there because this building comes down and we start coming on and my goal is to have St. Patrick's Day here next year. That's my goal," said Mike Kukrel, chair of the WAVP building committee.

It's a $3.6 million project, which includes grants from Vision Iowa and the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.

The group is still about $350,000 short of its goal.

Fundraising is continuing to meet that goal.

When it comes to fundraising, 70% of the donations were below $1000 while 57% of the donors are veterans or their families.

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