Girls Incorporated of Omaha announced a major facilities expansion plan on Tuesday. It's a $15 million project that will feature a 55,000 square foot addition of a gymnasium and locker rooms; teen, media and fitness centers; and health and wellness space to their North Omaha facility and a partial renovation of the existing facility, including installation of an instructional kitchen.
Girls Inc. intends to make the programs and services located in these new facilities available to the members of both their north and south Omaha centers, as well as to young people and families in the surrounding community.
“The new gym will provide a home base for the sports activities our girls participate in through the YMCA. It will provide the space necessary for girls to be physically active all months of the year – something that can be challenging in Nebraska without a gym,” said Girls Inc. Executive Director Roberta Wilhelm.
The addition of a gymnasium is a major, strategic element of the project. Vigorous physical activity is a key component of every after school program, as an outlet for youthful high spirits as well as for the related fitness benefits.
The North Center currently has a single, multipurpose space shared by sports, physical activity, performing arts and food service. The constraint that these activities must compete with food service for the multi-use space has been a serious, long-term issue. The new facility will also accommodate an enlarged fitness center and a studio for dance, yoga and other floor exercises.
The project was designed by The Architectural Offices, located in Omaha. $13.5 million of the $15 million estimated cost has already been raised. “The support of local philanthropists and foundations for the Girls Inc. vision and their commitment to the long-term well being of the community’s young people is extraordinary,” said Wilhelm.
Girls Inc. is launching a community campaign to help raise the remainder of the necessary funds. “We are reaching out to the community for support and invite local individuals, groups and organizations to take ownership of this project with us,” Wilhelm said.