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The North Bend Eagle


 

Breaking ground at site of new North Bend library.
Breaking ceremonial ground at the new library site are Brent Karnatz, Amy Williams, Ellen Bode (in pink), Jana Post, Dorothy Mines, Dan Watts, Emily Krischenmann, Audre Kerrigan and Marv Welstead.

Ground Broken:

Ceremony marks next step in library construction

by Nathan Arneal
Published 11/17/10

Though dirt work began more than a week ago, Sunday was celebrated as the first official step toward the building of North Bend’s new public library.

About 80 people gathered Sunday afternoon for a ground-breaking ceremony at the construction site at the northeast corner of 13th and Main, on the grounds of the old popcorn plant.

Currently a plateau of dirt has been built up about five feet high. Some of the dirt will be skimmed off and after settling, the plateau is to be about three feet high when the base is poured.

North Bend Library Foundation president Jana Post welcomed the guests to the ceremony and shared the story of how she and her husband Troy ended up in North Bend about six years ago and how it led her to become involved in the new library effort. At the time, the Posts were living in Elkhorn but wanted to move to a small town like the ones they had grown up in. According to their research, North Bend fit the bill.

“The new pool, the addition to the elementary school, the nice scout cabin and ball fields told us this town cared about kids,” Jana Post said. “Likewise, the impressive veterans’ park, the arboretum, the newer senior center and the public park showed us this town was progressive and well maintained.”

The only disappointment was the library. She said the library building was difficult for her kids to access. Shortly after the Posts moved to North Bend, the new library drive began.

“Today is a celebration of breaking ground for our new public library,” Post said, “but it is also a celebration of the giving spirit of this community.”

Library Board member Dan Watts thanked all the generous donors and told the assembled listeners that the new structure could mean big things for the town’s future.

“Like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes,” Watts said. “North Bend will begin a new chapter demonstrating to any future potential residents, like the Posts, that we have a progressive, vibrant community here in east-central Nebraska.”

Also speaking at the event were city council member Emily Krischenmann, Chamber of Commerce president Brent Karnatz, North Bend Library director Amy Williams, third-grader Abby Post representing the youth of North Bend, and Marv Welstead of the Fremont Area Community Foundation.

Williams told the crowd that the new facility will help the librarians do their job to their utmost potential.

“I’m sure this new building represents all that is good about North Bend and the surrounding community,” Williams said. “It will allow us as librarians to fulfill its mission statement. Specifically, ‘to be an active center of services and a comfortable place to gather for North Bend.’”

After the speeches, golden shovels were passed out and the ground breaking took place.

Breaking the soil on the site were Karnatz, 3-year-old Ellen Bode, Williams, Post, Watts, Kirschenmann, Welstead, major donor Dorothy Mines and Keene Avdisory Fund Trustee Audre Kerrigan.

Following the ceremony, Post told the Eagle it was a thrilling day for her and everyone who has put so much time into the project.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” she said. “I remember the first time I heard the $1.2 millon figure and I just thought ‘How?’”

The Library Foundation hasn’t quite reached that goal yet. Post said $98,612 is still needed to reach the $1.2 million mark. She said he hopes to have that raised by the end of the year.

As for the construction site itself, the dirt work is expected to be completed in the coming week, which will complete the physical work for this year.

Design plans are in the final stages and the construction bidding process is expected to begin in January with construction starting in the spring.

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