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Old 05-14-2007, 08:35 PM
lui lui started this thread
 
5 posts, read 30,273 times
Reputation: 10

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Hey ALL!

we are considering moving there because of work at William Penn.

African american single mom of one girl.

Any info will be really appreciated!

need to know about living costs - estimate, schools, demographics of community, entertainment..............

quality of life, also how diverse is the population?

oh, we are moving from Atlanta, GA. nice place but quality of life is going down the tubes. Traffic, steadily getting expensive, etc, etc.

Last edited by lui; 05-14-2007 at 08:38 PM.. Reason: upd
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:53 AM
lui lui started this thread
 
5 posts, read 30,273 times
Reputation: 10
the pay would be in the low to mid twenties..............

that's not enough money where I am Georgia, but how would you make out with this money in Oskaloosa............

Last edited by lui; 05-15-2007 at 09:53 AM.. Reason: upd
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:55 PM
 
18 posts, read 82,211 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lui View Post
Hey ALL!

we are considering moving there because of work at William Penn.

African american single mom of one girl.

Any info will be really appreciated!

need to know about living costs - estimate, schools, demographics of community, entertainment..............

quality of life, also how diverse is the population?

oh, we are moving from Atlanta, GA. nice place but quality of life is going down the tubes. Traffic, steadily getting expensive, etc, etc.
Well hey there! You're in luck, because I just so happen to be FROM Osky (as we natives call it)! And, better yet, I actually attended Penn for my first year of college I'll try to be as descriptive as humanly possible on the town and surrounding towns!

Thoughts on Oskaloosa... my family moved there when I was 15 or 16 and I had previously lived all over the world (Army brat), most recently coming from a major city. First reaction? Hated it. Hated the small town, hated not having anything to do at night, hated not having a real mall.. I hated it all.

10 years later, I now live in West Des Moines and I can tell you that I miss Oskaloosa everytime I go home for a weekend and have to leave. So now I will give you the opinions of a 25 year old

Diversity - As you will find in most of the state, the town is primarily white. Having said that, however, Penn is (interestingly enough) VERY diverse. Lots of African-American athletes come from the south to play football. As a result, I would say that the younger population is pretty diverse, but you're going to be hard pressed to find, say, many elderly married couples. There are a few, don't get me wrong. Oskaloosa is extremely open-minded, however, and I have only once encountered any sort of negative attitudes towards other races/ethnicities. Again, with much of the state, we are also starting to see many hispanic families move to the area.

Quality of life - Let's be honest, this is small-town America. If you're looking for great clubs, big screen theaters, etc., this is not the place!

The "mall," if you can call it that, is a joke. I worked there in high school and there were many stores back then but not anymore. Here's a listing, from what I can remember from the last time I was there: JC Penney, Gardner Collier (jewlery), a furniture store, a Goodwill, Regis hairstylists, a nail place, Radio Shack, a train hobby store, GNC, and ... I think there might still be one Mexican restaurant and a Pizza Ranch. I can tell you from experience, NOBODY goes to that mall- they drive to Des Moines or Ottumwa.

For other shopping, there is a decent sized Hyvee (groceries with a helpful smile in every aisle), a Fairway (definitely use their meat department!), a newer Super Walmart, a strip mall with a videogame place, a Cato's (women's fashions- including a nice plus size section, if that applies).

There is a nice town square, but this is mostly places like a dentist office, a photographer, a Mexican place (great food), a coffee shop, and a way overpriced old ladies clothing store. There is a Movie Gallery videostore, a movie theater with 2 or 3 screens, a few restaurants and fast food places (Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Taco Johns, Subway, MaidRite, Hardees, Wendys).

There is a very nice park (Edmundson) with a great, large playground, community pool and a golf course. There is also a separate driving range if you're into that kind of thing. Oskaloosa is the county seat of Mahaska county, so the courthouse and jail are there (on the square), as well as the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds. They do a decent fair (in August, I believe), as well as hold races every week throughout the summer and flea markets, etc.

Schools - I cannot speak to the elementary schools, other than the experiences my younger siblings had. Oskaloosa used to have several, smaller elementary schools in each quadrant of town. They were old and really, the kids needed to be consolidated, so that town has a new elementary school. I think it is 3 years old. There is also a newer middle school and the senior high school has a newer addition/wing on the back of it. I can tell you that the class I graduated in had less than 300 people, but there's a beauty in that, I think. Everyone is close... certainly there are cliques, etc., but you know everybody.

Athletics are big - the Oskaloosa Indians have widely respected football, basketball, baseball/softball, and volleyball teams. Additionally, wrestling is huge in Iowa and the Indians consistently send wrestlers to State. Clubs like theater, yearbook, Academic Decathalon are also widely supported - especially theater. Oskaloosa has the only nice auditorium in the area and so it frequently gets traveling shows, and the high school drama department consistently plays to a full house.

Jobs - It's a slow time in the area. The biggest employers are in the surrounding towns of Pella and Ottumwa (15 and 30 minutes away, respectively) and are factory jobs at places like Pella Windows, Vermeer Mfg, and John Deere. Most part time jobs are going to pay between $6-9/hr, but if you've already got a job at Penn, then good for you! I interviewed in the athletic dept once and I remember that the pay was nice and tuition was free.

Penn - Still trying to overcome a somewhat negative public perception. The "townies" and the "Pennfrogs" don't always see eye-to-eye, especially when you've got a perception that it's all black guys who are starting fights, getting busted drinking, etc. I'm not saying that's my view, but that may be one problem that you run into. It's not a racist town, but there are (as in most towns) some racist people. Penn's administration is working very hard to overcome this perception and are making great strides, I think. Last year's homecoming was VERY well received in town and, shock of all shocks, they won the game!

Rent - What are you looking for? Just a 2 bdr? www.oskaloosaherald.com is a good resource. I would caution against some areas of North or South Market St and also on North or South A Ave - many older homes that have been used as flophouses for college students and are run down. Fortunately, a lot of these homes are being restored to their former glory. If you can find something on the east side of town, that is where I'd say I'd prefer. If you come across one you'd been interested in, PM me and I can let you know what I know about the block. If you're not moving until a few weeks/months down the road, I would also be more than happy to take some photos of the town and email them to you.

I know this is a lot of info, but I hope it helps!!!
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:23 PM
lui lui started this thread
 
5 posts, read 30,273 times
Reputation: 10
Default WOW, great info

thanks for the tons of info.

i was actually giving up on responses.

from your description, i feel like i actually spent the weekend there to get the feel of the place.

thanks again.

i will PM you my email and you can send me some pics so i get a VISUAL.

with all your help, i don't have to spend much on back and forth travel.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:42 PM
 
4 posts, read 21,329 times
Reputation: 11
I just wanted to say THANKS for all the GREAT information! My husband is looking at being transferred to Eddyville, and I have been to many sites looking for info. on this area. Your post has been the most helpful resource I have found!

As a Mom with 5 kids, I have found all your information very valuable!

~S~
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,835,231 times
Reputation: 446
I grew up in Centerville, and I hate Osky!
...mostly because they usually put up a pretty tough team in football...

But besides that, Osky is a fine town, and I agree with 99% of what nascargirl has said about it.

On diversity, well, it's not very diverse. But Iowa as a whole really isn't very diverse..so that's not Osky's fault. But as nascargirl said, it's not a racist town by any means, although I'm sure there is some people in Osky who are.

I agree that William Penn's reputation is on the rise. It once held a shaky reputation as sort of a dum-dum community college (not my personal opinion, btw)--but that has changed.

The quality of life in Oskaloosa is as good as any other small town in Iowa. There are no mega-malls, but there isn't big-city worries either. I agree that the Penn Central Mall is a huge joke, though. It's an urban-renewal disaster that sits like some kind of empty blob right off of the beautiful town square--which is infact more full of retail than the mall that tried to replace it! The new four-lane bypass area is full of new stores, like Super Wal Mart and others. And that same highway leads straight to Des Moines, which is good for an occasional shopping trip. There is always stuff to do in a small town...you just have to look for it!
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:56 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,296 times
Reputation: 10
Wow, thanks for that info! My husband and I found out recently that we are being transferred(for his work) to Oskaloosa by October 1st of '09. I had never heard of it or seen anything about it, so I was pretty skeptical at first. I grew up in a town of 1,300 and I was afraid it was going to be like that. But I see that it's about 11,000, is that accurate? Anyway, any help on rental property agencies would be awesome! Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,835,231 times
Reputation: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtleonard View Post
Wow, thanks for that info! My husband and I found out recently that we are being transferred(for his work) to Oskaloosa by October 1st of '09. I had never heard of it or seen anything about it, so I was pretty skeptical at first. I grew up in a town of 1,300 and I was afraid it was going to be like that. But I see that it's about 11,000, is that accurate? Anyway, any help on rental property agencies would be awesome! Thanks!
Yep, somewhere around 10 or 11,000 sounds about right. I don't know about rentals there, but you could try looking in the Oskaloosa Herald.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:52 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,112 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lui View Post
Hey ALL!

we are considering moving there because of work at William Penn.

African american single mom of one girl.

Any info will be really appreciated!

need to know about living costs - estimate, schools, demographics of community, entertainment..............

quality of life, also how diverse is the population?

oh, we are moving from Atlanta, GA. nice place but quality of life is going down the tubes. Traffic, steadily getting expensive, etc, etc.
HI LUI Oskaloosa has 2700 rental units in a town of 11,000, the city has twice voted down and refused to allow Landlord Tenant laws because town is less than 15,000. rent deposit does not have to be returned unless you send a written notice to land lord, even if your mailing address has never changed after you move. a judge ruled that as fact and gave landlord the deposit even when landlord had the proper renters address. if you rent in Oskaloosa you have no protection with the state rental laws. BEWARE
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:00 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,112 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nascar9girl View Post
Well hey there! You're in luck, because I just so happen to be FROM Osky (as we natives call it)! And, better yet, I actually attended Penn for my first year of college I'll try to be as descriptive as humanly possible on the town and surrounding towns!

Thoughts on Oskaloosa... my family moved there when I was 15 or 16 and I had previously lived all over the world (Army brat), most recently coming from a major city. First reaction? Hated it. Hated the small town, hated not having anything to do at night, hated not having a real mall.. I hated it all.

10 years later, I now live in West Des Moines and I can tell you that I miss Oskaloosa everytime I go home for a weekend and have to leave. So now I will give you the opinions of a 25 year old

Diversity - As you will find in most of the state, the town is primarily white. Having said that, however, Penn is (interestingly enough) VERY diverse. Lots of African-American athletes come from the south to play football. As a result, I would say that the younger population is pretty diverse, but you're going to be hard pressed to find, say, many elderly married couples. There are a few, don't get me wrong. Oskaloosa is extremely open-minded, however, and I have only once encountered any sort of negative attitudes towards other races/ethnicities. Again, with much of the state, we are also starting to see many hispanic families move to the area.

Quality of life - Let's be honest, this is small-town America. If you're looking for great clubs, big screen theaters, etc., this is not the place!

The "mall," if you can call it that, is a joke. I worked there in high school and there were many stores back then but not anymore. Here's a listing, from what I can remember from the last time I was there: JC Penney, Gardner Collier (jewlery), a furniture store, a Goodwill, Regis hairstylists, a nail place, Radio Shack, a train hobby store, GNC, and ... I think there might still be one Mexican restaurant and a Pizza Ranch. I can tell you from experience, NOBODY goes to that mall- they drive to Des Moines or Ottumwa.

For other shopping, there is a decent sized Hyvee (groceries with a helpful smile in every aisle), a Fairway (definitely use their meat department!), a newer Super Walmart, a strip mall with a videogame place, a Cato's (women's fashions- including a nice plus size section, if that applies).

There is a nice town square, but this is mostly places like a dentist office, a photographer, a Mexican place (great food), a coffee shop, and a way overpriced old ladies clothing store. There is a Movie Gallery videostore, a movie theater with 2 or 3 screens, a few restaurants and fast food places (Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Taco Johns, Subway, MaidRite, Hardees, Wendys).

There is a very nice park (Edmundson) with a great, large playground, community pool and a golf course. There is also a separate driving range if you're into that kind of thing. Oskaloosa is the county seat of Mahaska county, so the courthouse and jail are there (on the square), as well as the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds. They do a decent fair (in August, I believe), as well as hold races every week throughout the summer and flea markets, etc.

Schools - I cannot speak to the elementary schools, other than the experiences my younger siblings had. Oskaloosa used to have several, smaller elementary schools in each quadrant of town. They were old and really, the kids needed to be consolidated, so that town has a new elementary school. I think it is 3 years old. There is also a newer middle school and the senior high school has a newer addition/wing on the back of it. I can tell you that the class I graduated in had less than 300 people, but there's a beauty in that, I think. Everyone is close... certainly there are cliques, etc., but you know everybody.

Athletics are big - the Oskaloosa Indians have widely respected football, basketball, baseball/softball, and volleyball teams. Additionally, wrestling is huge in Iowa and the Indians consistently send wrestlers to State. Clubs like theater, yearbook, Academic Decathalon are also widely supported - especially theater. Oskaloosa has the only nice auditorium in the area and so it frequently gets traveling shows, and the high school drama department consistently plays to a full house.

Jobs - It's a slow time in the area. The biggest employers are in the surrounding towns of Pella and Ottumwa (15 and 30 minutes away, respectively) and are factory jobs at places like Pella Windows, Vermeer Mfg, and John Deere. Most part time jobs are going to pay between $6-9/hr, but if you've already got a job at Penn, then good for you! I interviewed in the athletic dept once and I remember that the pay was nice and tuition was free.

Penn - Still trying to overcome a somewhat negative public perception. The "townies" and the "Pennfrogs" don't always see eye-to-eye, especially when you've got a perception that it's all black guys who are starting fights, getting busted drinking, etc. I'm not saying that's my view, but that may be one problem that you run into. It's not a racist town, but there are (as in most towns) some racist people. Penn's administration is working very hard to overcome this perception and are making great strides, I think. Last year's homecoming was VERY well received in town and, shock of all shocks, they won the game!

Rent - What are you looking for? Just a 2 bdr? [url=http://www.oskaloosaherald.com]Homepage » Oskaloosa.com[/url] is a good resource. I would caution against some areas of North or South Market St and also on North or South A Ave - many older homes that have been used as flophouses for college students and are run down. Fortunately, a lot of these homes are being restored to their former glory. If you can find something on the east side of town, that is where I'd say I'd prefer. If you come across one you'd been interested in, PM me and I can let you know what I know about the block. If you're not moving until a few weeks/months down the road, I would also be more than happy to take some photos of the town and email them to you.

I know this is a lot of info, but I hope it helps!!!
HI Oskaloosa has 2700 rental units in a town of 11,000, the city has twice voted down and refused to allow Landlord Tenant laws because town is less than 15,000. rent deposit does not have to be returned unless you send a written notice to land lord, even if your mailing address has never changed after you move. a judge ruled that as fact and gave landlord the deposit even when landlord had the proper renters address. if you rent in Oskaloosa you have no protection with the state rental laws. BEWARE
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