Mayor Chris Beutler and project partners broke ground today for the Active Living Center at 21st and "Q" streets in Union Plaza. The $1.4 million center will be home to Jayne Snyder Trails Center, the Community Health Endowment (CHE), a public meeting space and a future trail-related business. Construction will begin immediately, and the 6,500-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in late summer 2012.
The project is being financed by the partners, including $250,000 in community donations secured by the Great Plains Trails Network (GPTN). The Cleaner Greener Lincoln initiative is providing $254,000 in funds from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds to build an energy efficient facility.
"The facility that will be built at this spot will be a monument to the partnerships we have built to make Lincoln the healthiest community in the nation," said Mayor Beutler. "It also will serve as a reminder of what one dedicated leader like Jayne Snyder can accomplish with sacrifice, hard work and a passion for both fitness and for our City's future."
The City Council passed a resolution in February to name the trail center after current Council member Snyder for her involvement "...in every major trail development project over the past 20 years." Snyder was on the first GPTN board of directors and has served on the Nebraska Trails Foundation board and the Mayor's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee. She also was a leader of the effort to acquire the MOPAC railroad right of way for trail development.
"Today marks the day that health and active living is officially planted in a highly visible way in the heart of our community," said Ed Wimes, Chair of the Board of Trustees of CHE. "We are pleased to share this space with a trails center that will honor the work, leadership and dedication of Jayne Snyder. The Active Living Center is an important investment in our community's future."
"A trails center where residents and visitors can gather, socialize and get information about Lincoln's trail system has long been a vision of the Great Plains Trails Network and trails enthusiasts," said Elaine Hammer of GPTN. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to play a significant role in making the Jayne Snyder Trails Center a reality, and want to express our sincere appreciation to the many donors who supported this fund-raising effort, including Assurity Life who provided a major leadership gift."
Energy efficient features in the new building will include Photovoltaic cells, LED Lighting and energy efficient windows. "These energy features will be central in upcoming educational programs to show the public the value of these cost-effective and environmentally friendly design and construction methods," said Milo Mumgaard, Cleaner Green Lincoln. "We want people to use the center and realize that energy sustainability is really this simple."
More information on the project is available at parks.lincoln.ne.gov.