Salvation Army Kroc Omaha Expansion Groundbreaking

July 7, 2016

Today was an important day for the current and future members of The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Omaha.Kroc Center Senior Officer Major Todd Thielke was beaming when he said, “Today we are here to celebrate another life changing possibility in the form of an 18,000 square foot addition. The new addition will house our new walking track, new fitness deck, and it will allow other existing areas of the center to be revitalized and repurposed as fun areas for kids to play, and areas for families to be together and socialize.”

The expansion and renovation has been designed to enhance the current programming and enable Kroc Center staff to greater serve the Omaha community.

City of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert exclaimed, “I’ve seen the construction plans, the changes that the center will undergo are nothing short of amazing. And even the construction process itself will benefit the community through new jobs and economic development. That’s why the Kroc Center is so important, it helps to foster great minds, provides opportunities, and expands horizons.”

There are 4 pillars that hold up truly remarkable and successful community recreation centers, and the expanded Kroc Center has all four. They are:

  1. Fitness: The expansion will more than double the size of the cardio vascular, circuit resistance, weight training and group exercise areas.
  2. Wellness: Areas which give members opportunities like nutrition classes to thrive in not only getting well, but also staying well.
  3. Aquatics: The new 2 ½ story tall slide will create the WOW factor on the Northwest corner of the Center as the riders will start the wet and wild journey indie the building, exit the building in the slide flume, wind their way down and around curves, then re-enter the natatorium into a deceleration flume.
  4. Multi-Generational: I cannot think of another project in the state of Nebraska which will offer as many social, recreational, fitness, performing arts, visual arts and spiritual programs for people ages 9 months to 90 years old than Kroc Omaha.

In addition to Major Thielke, Mayor Stothert and myself, approximately 75 people joined in the celebration to witness the dirt being turned by Nebraska Senator Heath Mello, Omaha Councilman Gary Gernandt, former Omaha Mayor Haul Daub, Salvation Army Divisional Commanders Major Greg Thompson and Major Lee Ann Thompson, Kroc Center Officer Major Cathy Thielke, HGM Associates Architecture Department Manager Dean Fajen, and President of MCL Construction Bob Carlisle.

In conclusion, I want to personally thank the BRS team: Design Principal Ken Berendt, Principal Keith Hayes, Interior Design Principal Marcia Hocevar, Project Manager and Associate Andy Stein, Designer Kristin Sealey and Interior Designer Ellie Lokken for their steadfast work, great design, project management and production skills on this important work. Thanks also to our great support team at BRS: Senior Associate and Accountant Carol Snydal, Accounting & Project Administrator Christen Snydal, Associate, Office & Benefits Administrator Debra Ellis, Director of Marketing Rebecca Lavezzary, and Marketing Coordinator Sue Maguire. You all are pros and I am proud to work with all of you!

I want to acknowledge and thank our consultant team of Dean Fajen, Todd Maiellaro and Bill Glismann of HGM Associates Inc., Pierre Metellus and Van Le of 3PM Design, Tim Harris, John Blair and Bert Baiotto at The Ballard Group, Mark Layfield and Kristin Dietrich of Reese Engineering, Sue Reilly and Josh Hathaway of Group 14 Engineering, Lisa Gallun, Christine Nicolyasen and Ashley  Gavaldon of Gallun Snow Associates, Doug Whiteaker and Bill Bornick of Water Technology, Inc., Jonathan Reid and Linda Peters of KL&A Structural Engineers, Greg Markling at Ibim Solutions and Ken Greenberg of Commercial Fitness Solutions.

I thank the Owner team mentioned above plus Territorial Commissioner Carol Seiler, Territorial Assistant Property Secretary Scott Thomas, Majors Curtiss and Sandy Hartley, Major Randy Heljstrom, Divisional Property Manager Greg Kadrlik, Jonathan Kuebler, Carl Larson, Madelaine Moyer. And thanks to the City of Omaha team of Mayor Jean Stothert, Councilman Gary Gernandt, Greg Hauptman, Tom Phipps, Steven Thornburg and Michael Carter. You all have been instrumental in our 4-year labor of love to expand the Omaha Kroc Center and I commend you. Great job team!

Last, and certainly not least, I thank MCL Construction and their sub-contractors. To MCL President Bob Carlisle and MCL staff Paul Beller, Chris Leapley, Dennis Parr, Mike Procopio, and Tim Ratliff, I say, let’s build this thing!