Vision becomes reality this week for Papillion and its residents.

A little more than two years after breaking ground, the city’s state-of-the-art Papillion Landing Community Recreation Center opens to the public on Monday.

An open house is scheduled Jan. 24 from 5 to 9 p.m., with an additional open house set for Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Grand opening festivities are slated for March 13.

Unlike anything in the region, the center features 120,000 square feet of space that is in addition to the 80,000 square feet of space in the neighboring Papillion Landing Field House.

The Papillion Landing complex was funded with approximately $61 million in bonds earmarked for the project and other parks and recreation improvements. Bond payments are made with funds collected from a 2016 voter-approved ½-cent sales tax. No property tax dollars were used for the construction of the facilities.

Construction cost for the Community Recreation Center and Field House came in around $48 million.

Those buildings — combined with the recent installation of a turf field for soccer and football, and plans to build a softball/youth baseball complex as well as grass soccer fields — make Papillion a leader among its peers in recreation offerings for its residents.

“I’m beyond proud,” Recreation Director Lori Hansen said during a tour of the facility. “It’s just amazing to see the reality of your work that started with napkin sketches to seeing something like this.

“It’s one of the most beautiful community facilities I’ve ever seen.”

There are two components to the community recreation center, located on Lincoln Road just east of 96th Street. Entering the building on its west side, there is no fee to visit the community center, while the recreation center requires a membership.

There are four methods for residents and non-residents to use the Recreation Center — annual membership, monthly membership, daily fee and punch cards. Details on pricing, as well as other Papillion Landing information is available at papillion.org/835/Papillion-Landing.

The Recreation Center includes the Natatorium (pool area), indoor playground, birthday party rooms, private changing rooms, multi-court gymnasium, child watch services, elevated walking/running track, fitness center and group fitness/dance rooms.

The indoor swim area consists of a zero-depth pool, four-lane lap pool, lazy river and water slides. There are 20 adjacent changing rooms, including 12 with showers.

State-of-the-art workout equipment is available for members, as well as spaces for classes for such things as tai chi, dance and yoga.

A walking/running track overlooks three full-sized courts (converted to six volleyball courts) that can be rented by local sports organizations for leagues and tournaments. The gymnasium is the only portion of the Recreation Center to have a separate entrance.

Adjacent to the gymnasium is a supervised child watch area for members that can accommodate up to 30 children. There, parents can leave their little ones to watch a movie, play with toys or spend time on a tablet playing a video game.

The electronic devices, as well as computers and laptops used in the digital library and other areas of the Community Center were purchased with a $50,000 grant to the city from Facebook.

The Community Center features an event center, catering kitchen, youth center, Master’s 55+ Club, arts and crafts studio, multi-use classrooms, digital library services, community gym and lounge space.

A membership fee is not required to use the Community Center.

In addition to the amenities listed, the Community Center is home to the Chrysalis Event Center comprised of the Chrysalis Ballroom (dividable conference room), Chrysalis Hall (the community gym that can be converted to event space and includes a stage) and Chrysalis Courtyard.

In efforts to attract special events — everything from wedding receptions to corporate meetings — the Chrysalis Event Center features a catering kitchen to be used by the center’s preferred list of caterers.

Things you need to know:

  • Except for the Recreation Center gymnasium for private events (tournaments, etc.), facility users must enter through the main entrance on the west side of the building.
  • All visitors must use the parking lots on the west side of the building.
  • Seven laps on the walking/running track equals one mile.
  • The Community Recreation Center houses the city’s recreation staff, which has grown to 14 full-time employees from its previous five. In addition to the full-time staff, the city is now employing 75-100 part-timers.
  • Children under age 11 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian while in the community area.

More is to come to Papillion Landing as the city has approved construction of a softball complex and grass soccer fields to be part of the complex.

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