PENDER – An open house was featured at the Pender Community Center Wednesday evening along with tours and a dedication where there wasn’t enough parking to hold everyone who attended, as vehicles were parked up and down the street.
Three tours were held showing the four tenant spaces (Anytime Fitness Center, Little Sprouts Child Development Center along with the Pender Village and Veterans offices) and other rental areas. A dedication then took place later in the evening.
Manager of the Pender Community Center, Katie Gutzmann was recently a stay-at-home mom and did the marking for Hoegemeyer Hybrids in Hooper. Gutzmann talked about what she is mainly in charge of, with more to be determined.
“We have four tenants in our facility, so I’ll be helping make sure they get acclimated into the facility,” said Gutzmann. “Then mainly just events, so helping with people as they book events in our multiple rentable spaces.”
The Pender Community Center is located at 614 Main Street, with a $7.1 million overall project and a 38,500 square-foot facility. The Center is large enough to accommodate all of Pender’s residents and then some with a multi-purpose room that can hold 832 people, an event hall which will hold another 400 people and two community rooms for smaller meetings.
With the event hall full, roughly 450 individuals enjoyed a complimentary meal with a drink along with a photo booth. During the dedication ceremony, Gutzmann spoke as well as President Sonya Kelly, Vice President Bill Bachman, Jeff Yost (President & CEO, Nebraska Community Foundation), Ray Welsh (Pender Community Center Cabinet Member) and a Pender Public School student.
The Pender Community Center officially opened their doors Thursday to students at Pender Public Schools as the Booster Club will be sponsoring all membership fees using the multi-purpose room. Kids having been knocking down the doors, according to Gutzmann.
“The partnership and collaboration is just the start of many great things that we’re going to have of partnerships in this town,” Gutzmann added. “I’m excited to hear the basketballs bouncing and lots of fun activities happening because that’s what community is all about.”
The center is built on the site of the former Pender Legion Hall, which had served the community for more than 90 years. The building was removed to make way for the new construction.
Note cards were left on tables for individuals and groups to fill out for future ideas.
“We’re just really proud of the facility, we’re really proud of Pender and the residents stepping up to help make this a reality, Gutzmann mentioned.”
Other board members are Secretary/Treasurer Bruce Wichman, Bill Newton, Dan Wichman, Jason Dolliver and Randy Moeller.
More information can be found by visiting their website at www.pendercommunitycenter.com, find them on Facebook or call 402-460-0158.