Building Community Through Experiences
Learn . Play . Create
South Square strives to be blank canvas for new ideas and projects. If there is something you want to learn more about, an activity or sporting event you would like to play or an art project or business you dream of creating, South Square provides a place for these experiences!
Our former classrooms now give a home to a great many community organizations and events. Here is just a sampling of what South Square has enabled the community to do (so far).
LEARN: Girl Scouts meetings, STEAM after school programs, health and wellness classes, home school programs, ISU Extension classes, home of St. Ansgar History Center
PLAY: Just For Kix youth dance, youth wrestling, Tae Kwon Do classes, indoor mini golf, Open Mic Night,
CREATE: Home of South Square Creative Arts Gallery, community art and stained glass classes, small business ventures, summer home of Cedar Summerstock Theate, homeschool plays, concerts,
COMMUNITY: Fundraisers for in-need families, soup suppers, waffle breakfasts, class reunion s, graduation/confirmation/wedding receptions, baby showers, city council election debate, Holiday
Market, community indoor garage sales, Beer and Bingo, stained glass and canvas painting. Additionally,
South Square is very proud to be the summer headquarters for Cedar Summerstock Theater - a national
summer college musical theater program, performing in nearby Osage, Iowa, that attracts performers from
around the nation!
The doors of the St. Ansgar School at 202 South Washington Street opened for the first time in 1928. For nearly 40 years the building served as the K-12 school for the community of St. Ansgar. As the school district grew, so too did the need for space. The St. Ansgar Community School District built a separate high school building in the 1960s and the Oren Thomas-designed building on Washington Street became the elementary school for decades of St. Ansgar residents.
In 2016, the St. Ansgar School District opened a new elementary school wing at the middle/high school complex, leaving the fate of the former building in the air. The St. Ansgar Historic School Project (HSP) was founded to retain ownership of the building and took possession on April 1, 2017. This 501(c)3 nonprofit reopened the building as South Square.
The St. Ansgar Historic School Project was formed in 2016 for the purpose of saving this historic building from certain demolition. In a nod to the name of the original plot of land upon which it sits, the building was given new life as “South Square” and now serves the community as a volunteer run, non-profit multipurpose community center.
We are proud to have already had a positive impact on our small rural community providing a much-needed multi-purpose community space. South Square is committed to community improvement and focuses on the arts, (More information on the building itself can be found in our Historic Registry section.)