Plans are moving forward for the event center

LINDSAY — Plans for the Lindsay Area Event & Wellness Center will move forward.

Lindsay Area Development (LAD) released a statement following the Archdiocese of Omaha’s announcement on Feb. 14 that it would merge grades 7-12 between Lindsay Holy Family School and Humphrey St. Francis School.

“We are disappointed by the decision taken by the archdiocese and the consequences this will have on the community. We will continue to move forward with the project and need to have more discussions as a community about what changes, if any, are needed to the plans and scope.

“This project is separate from the church and the school. The Archdiocese has no direct decision-making authority over Lindsay area development or projects that are part of our strategic plan. Elementary and high school are an integral part of our community, so any decision affecting them has an impact on the community as a whole.

The project emerged from a 2017 community attitude survey in which respondents prioritized five areas for improvement: housing, maintaining and attracting new businesses, public infrastructure, park/walkway improvements, and community center/ fitness center/gym.

The first four have all or have been addressed, leaving only the community center on the to-do list.

The center is estimated to cost $12.9 million, but the fundraising goal is $16 million to cover operating expenses and any unanticipated construction costs.

LAD may offer tax incentives and is seeking grants.

The event center is more than a gym and will offer a spa, meeting rooms and a reception hall, all designed to keep and attract people to Lindsay.

LAD has made strides in economic development by creating awareness and painting a vision for the community, which has led other community groups and individual community members to take action.

The back half of a building that was purchased by Lindsay Area Investment Club AIC, the for-profit investment group created by LAD in 2018, is now the Lindsay Clinic at Columbus Community Hospital.

The 1888 Tavern has opened, the Zimmer building has been sold and is undergoing renovations, a new housing subdivision is being built, and the grocery store, Lindsay Cooperative Market, is doing better after holding a community shopping meeting local.

The location of the event center is yet to be decided. It measures more than 39,000 square feet and includes parking space.

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