Community center groundbreaking

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday for the new Papillion Community Center and Field House. Pictured, from left, Jay Paul (Alley-Poynter-Macchietto Architecture), David Cavlovic (Sampson Construction), Papillion Mayor David Black, Papillion Recreation Director Lori Hansen, Nebraska Lt. Gov. Mike Foley, Councilman Steve Engberg, Councilman Tom Mumgaard, Councilman James Glover, Councilwoman Lu Ann Kluch, Councilman Troy Florance, Councilman Gene Jaworski, Councilman Jason Gaines, Councilman Bob Stubbe.

Five years of planning is coming to fruition for the City of Papillion.

The city had a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its $48 million Community Center and Field House at 1046 W. Lincoln St.

The Field House is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018 with the Community Center set for completion a year later.

"This has been five years of active planning," Mayor David Black told a crowd of about 150 people that gathered for the event. "Today is about community and preserving it for the future."

That planning became reality a year ago when voters passed a half-cent sales tax increase to fund the project. The city collected nearly $2 million in sales tax for the first half of 2017.

"We’d like to thank the citizens who had the courage to vote for the half-cent sales tax increase," Councilman Steve Engberg said. "This facility will not only impact our community, but many other communities as well."

Black said council members and city officials never lost sight of the goal during the planning process.

"It was such a purposeful process and we were always looking for the red flags, but they were never there," Black said. "The momentum just kept going."

The 120,000-square-foot facility will include an indoor water park and several pools, a gymnasium and jogging track, lighted synthetic turf field and will serve as the new home for the Papillion Senior Center.

Black said it is a project all ages of the community can embrace.

"It was a huge need," he said. "We had no community center or youth center and had a small building for our senior center. With our growth, there was no way the need for this was going to slow down.

"It’s going to be a gathering place for youth that we don’t have. You are going to have youth and seniors mingling in the same space and I’m curious to see the impact that is going to have."

Jay Palu from Alley Poynter Macchietto Architecture is the architect for the project. The group was also part of the Papio Bay design in the mid 1990s.

"Papillion is an exceptional place," Palu said. "We hope this is a building that feels like it belongs to everyone in Papillion."

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