Three years ago, a strategic plan process for the town of Henderson was conducted by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce.Â Through this planning process, the needs of the community were assessed in order to maintain Henderson as a thriving community well into the future.Â One of the highest identified priorities was a community center.
The agriculture sector is thriving, increasing ag related jobs in the area. Additional jobs in Hamilton and York Counties bring opportunities for new residents to buy goods at our businesses and attend our schools. A community center is an asset that can give us an edge when competing for these new families moving into our area.
The best location for this building has been determined to be the parking lot north of the school along Oak Street.Â Imagine the building amenities and services such a facility will provide not only for residents, but also to showcase our community.
- A gymnasium similar to the size of our current new gym will provide more flexibility with practice times. Â High school and junior high athletes could practice at the same time which will allow more family and study time at home.Â The additional courts will provide grade school teams more gym space for practice. In addition, youth tournaments could be hosted in Henderson instead of sending our residents out of town for such tournaments where thousands of dollars are spent.Â Furthermore, recreational leagues for adults could also be held in town since many adults currently drive to Aurora or York.
- An indoor swimming pool will allow aquatic exercise and recreation year-round.Â Grandchildren visiting in the winter would have more options to burn off holiday energy.Â Swimming lessons can also be offered in an environment that is protected from the elements.
- A daycare facility will help businesses attract workers with families. This daycare will also provide jobs for childcare workers. Daycare patrons will also be more likely to reside locally instead of in other communities.
- A fitness and workout area will include free weights, cardiovascular equipment, and windows with views to better suit the communityâ€™s needs.
- A walking track that allows for comfortable and safe walking or running year-round despite Nebraska weather extremes.
- A multi-function meeting space that can be opened up with a serving kitchen for family reunions, receptions, or community events.
I have not met or talked to anyone who is against this facility; however, it will require all of us to achieve this goal.Â Henderson State Bank has kicked off the fundraising process by committing a substantial donation to this project.Â As the year goes on, we will be contacting people about joining our efforts by donating to the building project.Â Please spread the word about how the community center will promote health and well being to all ages.Â Please encourage your friends, parents, grandparents, or anyone who might be interested in supporting this cause.
Dr. James Ohrt
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