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Pender opens brand new community center

Community center open house draws in big crowd

PENDER, NE - A brand new community center brought together nearly half the town of Pender Wednesday night. What was an accumulation of seven years dreaming and planning, four years fundraising and almost two years building has finally come to fruition.

Katie Gutzmann, the manager for the new community center , said, "We finally get to open our doors to this great facility here at the Pender Community Center. It's been a long time coming. A lot of people have been working on this project for a really long time."

Coming in at an overall project cost of $7.1 million this 35,500 square foot facility is all thanks to over 300 donors that made this project possible. Gutzmann also says the committees in this project have all been volunteer based, and their all hands-on-deck posture has made their dream come alive.

"It's a really exciting day," said Gutzman. "This is a really special place to call home, and I'm just really excited about all the jobs that will be added into Pender, the economic impact that it'll have just on the businesses in the area, and I'm just excited for a space for people to have to gather. It'll be lots of memories in the making.:

The facility houses 4 tenants: Little Sprouts Child Development Center, Anytime Fitness, Pender Village Offices and Pender Veterans. They're especially excited about the Child Development Center, which Director Andrea Gibson says was highly needed in their community.

"This has been a great addition to Pender. Childcare is a very high need here in the town. There are some local providers here, but they're still needing some additional childcare services, so we're here to work with everybody as a community and make childcare here great," said Gibson.

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