Wanahoo Education Building

NOW OPEN: NRD General Manager Eric Gottschalk closes one of the doors that conceals the screen. The screen can be used for meetings or hidden when not needed. (Staff Photo by Lisa Brichacek)

WAHOO – A room with a view is now open at Lake Wanahoo.

The Lower Platte North Natural Resources District has wrapped up construction on the Education Building, located on the east Day Use Side of Lake Wanahoo. The building will be used for educational programs hosted by the NRD and will also be available to the public for rent.

NRD Information and Education Department Head Desirae TePoel said the first events were held in the building in mid-October. The first rental was a children’s birthday party.

Prior to the building being completely finished, there was an early rental. A family reunion was held there in September. Both the birthday party and family reunion, TePoel said, have led to attendees renting the building for future events.

NRD General Manager Eric Gottschalk said the reaction to the building has been very positive so far.

One of the features of the building is big glass doors that overlook the lake. There is also a kitchen area, wi-fi and a projection screen.

With round tables set up, the building seats about 120.

Gottschalk said the goal was to make the building large enough for a variety of functions, yet not so big to exclude events.

“We wanted it comfortable even if it was a small group,” he said.

TePoel said the building will be home to a variety of educational type activities. The plan is to continue to expand on programs with schools within the district.

But, the education component is not just for kids.

“When you think education, you often think kids, but we want it to be available for education of all groups,” Gottschalk said.

Part of the educational aspect of the building is the systems in use for utilities. A geothermal system is in place to help with heating and cooling and solar panels will be hooked into the electrical grid.

The total cost of the Education Building was about $340,000. The NRD tapped into a fund from the Natural Resources Commission to help pay for 60 percent of the building.

The other 40 percent of the cost is coming from donations. Gottschalk said the NRD opted not to use dollars from its general fund.

TePoel said that use of the building has pretty much been because of word of mouth so far. As more people start using the building, inquiries are starting to increase.

She said tours of the building are available and those wanting more information should contact the NRD office in Wahoo. Her email is dtepoel@lpnnrd.org and the phone number is 402-443-4675.

Gottschalk said a grand opening will be planned next spring.

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