Over 500 people celebrated the culmination of six years of planning and collaborating this weekend with the opening of the new Hickman Multi-Purpose Community Center.
In 2011, residents of the town located in south Lancaster County participated in meetings and surveys to create a strategic plan for the community. The need for a community center was found to be their top priority.
“Community is very important to us and we knew that having a facility that would bring people together for all sorts of events was vital to keeping our city strong,” said Kelly Oelke, Hickman’s Assistant City Administrator and Hickman Building Foundation President.
In March of 2014, Hickman residents voted for and approved a 1.5% sales tax for public infrastructure to fund and maintain a new community center. Construction began in 2015 at a location in downtown Hickman.
“It was important to have the community center located in our downtown as that’s the heart of our city. We know citizens of all ages are going to use the facility so we wanted it centrally located,” said Silas Clarke, Hickman’s City Administrator.
The 16,940 square foot building with a 2,294 square foot mezzanine was completed this spring and includes the Reading Centre, City offices, kitchen, bar and multi-purpose area. The multi-purpose area has a capacity of 680 people and can be used for large receptions, youth activities and sporting events.
Funding for the $4.36 million project included: $375,000 – a State of Nebraska Civic and Community Center Financing Fund Grant; $264,846 – City Sales Tax Revenue; $45,178 – Hickman Community Foundation; $24,380 – First State Bank Nebraska; $10,000 – Black Hills Energy Foundation; $24,98 3- Keno Revenue; and $3.62 million – a low interest USDA Rural Development Loan.
“I am very pleased to be a part of making our residents’ top infrastructure request a realization. We look forward to using this facility for many years and events to come,” said Hickman Mayor Doug Hanson.
(Photos courtesy of JEO Architecture, Inc.)