- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) - Fundraising is nearly finished for the new $3.6 million Waverly Area Veterans Post that’s currently under construction.

Only about $280,000 is needed for the 17,300-square-foot facility, which will serve as a home for the Waverly Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, AMVETS and the Marine Corps League, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/1PbPVrw ) reported.

“We had a lot of folks say, ‘You can’t raise that kind of money in a town of 10,000 people. It’s never been done.’ And yet, we had good people who persisted,” said Henry “Hank” Bagelmann, a board member of the Waverly Area Veterans Post.

Among other funds, the Vision Iowa Board approved a $600,000 grant for the project in September.

The project has more than 700 donors, ranging from local veterans to husband-wife actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson and Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Plans for the two-level facility include Internet access and online video service for active service members’ families to communicate with them. Veterans will also be able to apply for benefits, jobs, educational opportunities and other services at the post.

Damage to multiple existing veterans posts in a 2008 flood afforded officials an opportunity to explore the idea of a new post that could be shared by several veterans organizations.

Board member Larry Buchholz, who’s helping with engineering work, said construction at the site is “going very well.”

“We started a little late,” Buchholz said. “We were about a month late, but we’re pretty close to being on schedule. We’ll have the building enclosed by November and doing work on the interior. We anticipate completing next spring or early summer.”

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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