Five years ago, Wolbach, Neb., (pop. 278), was home to a deteriorating community center. The roof was leaking, mold was rampant, and bats were the primary occupants of the upper level. The Village of Wolbach Town Board swiftly formed a committee to discuss building a new, much needed, community center.
To fund this project, the community applied for and received, a $278,400 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED). Other sources of funds came from the Family Farm and Nature Charitable Foundation grant, Wolbach Community Foundation grants, and Thrivent matching funds. Various other donations and fundraisers were also vital to the construction efforts.
After four years of numerous fundraisers, site preparations, and planning, Wolbach began building in April 2012 and completed construction of the new community center by the first week of September 2012. The community was overwhelmingly supportive and on September 23rd, a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiled a 5,500 sq. ft. building, with handicap accessible accommodations, a small meeting room, a big commons area, and a kitchen and serving area.
Citizens of Wolbach are taking full advantage of their new center. Already the building has served as a place for monthly gatherings, blood mobiles, town celebrations, wedding receptions, elections and various other events.
The beautiful new center improves the aesthetics of the small town and has inspired other businesses to update their buildings as well.
The CDBG funding through DED was critical to the construction of Wolbach’s new community center. Combined with incredible determination and team work, these funds brought the town’s citizens together to build a place where they will be able to spend quality time with one another for many years to come.