Community Center - Lohff-Schumann Memorial

On August 30, 1993 it was announced that 75% of Winona E. Lohff’s estate was to be given to the City of Holstein “for the purposes of construction and/or maintenance of a community center”. At the time of that announcement the bequest to the city totaled $835,909.

Ms. Lohff was a school teacher who had taught in Harlan, Laurens, Cherokee and Sac City, Iowa was born and raised in Holstein. Her parents Detlef and Emma Schumann Lohff were local farmers. She was a graduate of Holstein High School and Morningside College.

In April of 1995 the first organized meeting for the center was held with 14 selected members present, including Lisa Andersen, Melvin Bauer, Kathy Breyfogle, Chris Clark, Roger Clausen, Jim Cooney, Matt Forristal, Tom Hoffert, Sharon Johnson, Julie Lukins, Scott Niemeier, Christine Wiese and two city council members, Dennis Breyfogle & Randy Carpenter.

After considering 11 possible sites for the center, a site was purchased from Bruce and Darrin Schmidt just south of town near highways 20 & 59. Surrounded by a nine hole golf course and outdoor tennis courts, the plan was to create an entire sports complex with the addition of 2 ball fields and a walking/biking trail in the future.

In June, plans were approved for a 12,480 square foot building to be named the Lohff-Schumann Memorial Community Center. Contractors were selected after bid letting was done. Those selected were; Henningson Company of Spencer for the building base; Holstein Electric, & A-1 Plumbing & Heating.

As construction progressed the search for a Parks and Recreation Director & Board members began. A list of those who desired to be on the board were given to the city and those chosen were; Brian Breyfogle, Pam Leinbaugh, Beth Ortner, Tim Meyer & Christine Wiese. Stu Betsworth was hired in March as the first Parks and Recreation Director for the Center.

On Saturday, July 19, 1997 the grand opening was held with a 5K run, flag raising ceremony, membership discounts, a welcoming speech from the current City Mayor, Mary Gross and a ribbon cutting. Finally, four years of planning and building had become a reality and the doors were opened for the community to enjoy, complete with a community room and full kitchen, game room, men’s and women’s locker rooms, sauna, hot tub, lounge, an atrium for snacks and refreshments, full sized gymnasium, an exercise room, and administration offices.

20 years have passed since the doors first opened and a lot has changed since that day. Directors have come and gone, board members have rotated in and out, countless volunteers and donors have come through these doors, and numerous grants have been written to improve the facilities equipment and amenities.

The most recent change ,and probably one of the biggest structural changes, took place in 2014 with a facility remodel. The remodel included the addition of a children’s play area, filled with activities for young children to run around safely while parents workout. A remodeled and updated cardio room, equipped with treadmills, spin bikes, elliptical trainers, Jacobs Ladder, Nu-step, & rowing machine. The elimination of one of the two racquetball rooms within the facility, allowed for the addition of a larger weight room equipped with weight equipment for all fitness levels. And with the elimination of the upstairs storage area, we were able to add a fitness room where all fitness classes are held, along with youth gymnastics classes.

Although, a lot has changed in 20 years, Ms. Lohff’s original vision to serve the residents of Holstein has always remained the same and we continue to look forward to what the future holds for the center and it’s community as we celebrate 20 years of spreading health and wellness.