The McCook Heritage Senior Center recognized a need for expansion in 1999. This in itself was quite an accomplishment for a community of 8,000 as most senior centers in the state were seeing a decline in participants.
The McCook Heritage Senior Center receives financial support from the City of McCook and the West Central Nebraska Area Agency on Aging. The City and the WCNAAA were asked to support the expansion and renovation project for the senior center at a cost of $830,110.00. After receiving their support the “McCook Heritage Senior Center Building and Renovation Fund” was established. Numerous fund raising events were held and the seniors and community gave generously.
In April of 2002, $314,000.00 had been raised. It was at that time that an application for a Community Development Block Grant in the Public Works category was made. The senior center received notification in early July 2002 that it had been selected to receive a $350,000 grant. On July 11, 2002 Governor Mike Johanns presented the check to then Mayor Linda Taylor at the McCook Heritage Senior Center. An additional $240,000 from the McCook City sales tax was added to this amount. Grants were received from The Peter Kiewit Foundation, Kimmel Foundation, Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Foundation, Graff Charitable Foundation, McCook Community Foundation, and Wal-Mart Foundation. In addition to these grants, McCook National Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and many businesses and families of McCook made generous donations. Fund-raising events and the generosity of many people helped the senior center reach its goal in January 2003 of $830,115.00.
Construction began in July 2003 requiring the senior center to move to a temporary location. Once again the support of the community was given as the Assembly of God Church allowed the senior center to use its annex at no charge. The annex had formerly been an Army barracks. After eight months the center expansion and renovation was completed. The Heritage Senior Center reopened on April 5, 2004 in the newly expanded and renovated center. The center held its official grand opening the week of May 17 with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 21.
The McCook Heritage Senior Center grew from 5,544 square feet to 11,088 square feet. The kitchen area tripled. A walk-in cooler, walk in freezer and steam table have been added to the kitchen space. The new dining room more than tripled its capacity to accommodate 310 diners.
A computer/library room and a conference room were added to the building. The senior center now has an enlarged dining room, kitchen, three meeting rooms, a poolroom, library/computer room and three offices.