NC Veterans Memorial Building Project continues work, seeks funds

Julie Rach
Nebraska City Veterans Memorial Building

The Nebraska City Veterans Memorial Building Project kicked off its 2020 fund-raising campaign with a letter to local residents asking for donations.

Last year saw the installation of new Pella windows and doors in the building, thanks to the Wirth Foundation.

This year’s projects include adding heating and air-conditioning, a fire suppression system, and ADA upgrades that include refurbished restrooms and an elevator.

Nebraska City Veterans Memorial Building Project board member Jim Kuhn said the latest installations in the building have been a new 6-inch water line for the fire sprinkler system that is on the 2020 project list

A new 4-inch water line has also been installed, said Kuhn, to replace an abandoned old one and to accommodate the additional restrooms now required to get the building up to code.

Topping the list of 2020 projects are the installation of an elevator and the upgrading of the building’s restrooms to be ADA compliant, said Kuhn.

“Through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) we are finishing up plans for new ADA restrooms on all three floors,” said Kuhn.

“This should start in May or June by the time we receive bids and review them,” he said.

“Through that same CDBG grant, we are finishing plans for the new elevator that will stop at all three floors,” said Kuhn.

Kuhn said Leo A Daly is also planning out the new electrical layout for the entire building. 

“We will put three-phase electrical into the building to accommodate modern electrical needs and the new commercial kitchen,” he said.

Leo A Daly is also planning the building’s new HVAC heating and cooling needs, said Kuhn.

“It takes a lot to heat and cool this big, beautiful building to meet modern codes,” he said.

Other projects to be completed include

Repairing the concrete ceiling in the water utility room in the basement;

Tearing out temporary walls in the basement to clear the way for the new water lines and sewer lines to make building ADA compliant;

Refurbishing the stage, sound system, lighting, and floors;

Installing an expanded state-of-the-art kitchen;

Refurbishing most interior doors and installing new knobs as needed; 

Refurbishing the building’s wood floors, including the auditorium, stage and the balcony; and

Refurbishing the building’s high-end terrazzo floors, which must be preserved, according to Kuhn.

Also on the project’s “to-do” list are stucco repair, paint, planning new offices, janitor closets, storage rooms, along with building management and finding ways to make it self-sustaining, said Kuhn.

When completed, the building will host lectures, musical events, farmers market demonstrations, art exhibitions, food entrepreneurs, and veterans activities, said board member Janet Palmtag.

“It is an extraordinary historic landmark,” she said.

Palmtag added that contributions will help not just the Nebraska City community because the renovated building will offer programs and cultural opportunities to all of southeast Nebraska, southwest Iowa, and northwest Missouri. 

This project is being funded by private charitable organizations and individual contributions, along with some Community Development Block Grant funds.