WEBSTER CITY, Iowa -- The Briggs Woods Conference Center held a grand opening ceremony Friday to formally begin operations of the center.
The project cost over $3 million. It actually started operating just over a month ago, and it already has over 100 bookings for events this year.
Hamilton County officials began planning for the facility a number of years ago.
“This has been in the works for many years in one form or another,” said Hamilton County Supervisor Chair Doug Bailey. “It had taken initially a step of adding on to the existing clubhouse, then it turned into creating a free-standing structure next to the golf.”
The project broke ground in 2017 and has encountered problems during the construction.
“With the first scoop of dirt we ran into issues. We’ve been plagued by the weather, a lot of things having to do with the location,” said Bailey.
They experienced issues such as not being on the city sewer and not having a natural gas hookup, but the project did get hooked onto Webster City water.
“I think that’s one of the unique pieces of this project, in that it’s a public-private partnership,” said Bailey. "The private donations when they came forward are what kicked the project into high gear.”
Bailey stressed the public dollars were not tax-payer funds. Briggs Woods Park is the oldest county park in Iowa, and this year marks a big milestone.
“It is a jewel in the area, actually this June will be the 100th anniversary of the Briggs Family creating [and] donating the park,” said Bailey.
The Briggs Woods Conference Center is now open and equipped with technology to host meetings and wedding receptions.
Fundraising is still ongoing to provide funds to maintain the building into the future.