MUSCATINE, Iowa–Since the Musser Public Library moved into its new space at the corner of Mulberry and Second Street, its old location at Iowa Avenue has sat vacant, waiting for a new use. Now, the Stanley Center for Peace and Security will purchase the building from the City of Muscatine and remodel it into their permanent headquarters.
Currently, the Stanley Center rents space in the Laurel Building, only a short walk away from the old library. Beginning late in 2019, Stanley Center leadership searched for a local space they could convert into their headquarters. After exploring their options, they decided the old library could best meet their needs. “The excitement and enthusiasm among our staff and governance for our new home is palpable,” shared Communications Director Mark Seaman: “We have undergone transformative change in recent years—including to our name, internal culture, the ways we work, and our shared strategy. We are convinced that our new home will galvanize those transformations and make us ever more effective in creating a better world for all people.”
In a thorough renovation project, the Stanley Center plans to convert the existing building into a Living Building. The most rigorous sustainability certification program available, Living Buildings must generate all their own energy, benefit the natural environment, and prove self sustaining, among other requirements. Once completed and certified, the Stanley Center’s headquarters will represent the first Living Building in Iowa and only the second remodeled building to meet Living Building criteria in the world.
The Stanley Center welcomes this challenge and hopes to use many of the building’s sustainability features, such as roof mounted solar panels and a rainwater collection system, as tools to teach other property owners how they can implement similar practices as well. They also hope to share information about the refurbishment process to give people information about the environmentally sustainable building practices they will use.
Currently, the Stanley Center anticipates reconstruction will begin in spring of 2021 and wrap up by spring of 2022. They have hired Neumann Monson Architects to help them with the planning phase of the project and intend to employ them for the remodeling work as well. The Stanley Center anticipates no major disruptions to neighboring businesses and apartments during the renovation process.
Once the Stanley Center’s new headquarters opens, staff looks forward to having more spacious offices and communal areas. They also look forward to inviting the community in to participate in a variety of programs hosted by the Stanley Center and in collaboration with other community groups. “In addition to our work on global policy that mitigates climate change, avoids the use of nuclear weapons, and prevents mass violence and atrocities, many in the community know of our local work with teachers and young people on expanding global education,” stated Stanley Center President Keith Porter. He added, “under the new leadership of Krista Regennitter, we are overhauling these local programs and while we’ll have more to share on those changes in the months ahead, we believe they will coincide nicely with the building project.”