NEBRASKA CITY – University of Nebraska-Lincoln architecture students unveiled their work Tuesday for concepts and designs intended to reshape Nebraska City’s riverfront.
Holly McAdams Olson of the KHN Center for the Arts said the university’s Collaborative Studio came at an opportune time to coincide with the Community Prosperity Initiative.
Olson has been involved with the group tourism, arts, recreation and trails, or TART. Other groups are looking at sports complexes, trails, housing and economic development.
Olson: “So this is coming at a time when there are a lot of individuals in the community who are really saying let’s be proactive in dreaming big and then figuring out what the small steps are to start making it happen and they all intertwine.”
Rex Nelson of University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension helped kick off the Community Prosperity Initiative.
Nelson: “Really this is amazing because we’ve got great people doing great things in so many areas. We really appreciate Kim and all of you students adding your energy and your ideas to this.”
The Nebraska City Port would feature a middle school hang-out using the molasses flats, event space at Central Avenue’s river edge and a revival of the gas station and neighborhood center east of the soon-to-open Fourth Corso viaduct.
The refuge concept includes recognizing the wetland features of the Riverview Marina area for fishing, bird watching and board-walk paths. Riverview Nature Park would be transformed into a woodland retreat with cabins, tree houses and overlooks. A “Prairie Garden” is proposed for housing and early childhood development center.
The students propose relocating the river barge and grain transit railroad facility to ground near the OPPD power plant.
Dan Mauk of Nebraska City Area Economic Development encouraged Nebraska City to take a closer look at the students’ work.
Mauk: “When this community gets behind something, they go for it and things happen. You guys, the students and the faculty have kind of planted a seed here and I want to thank you all for it.”
The students held two prior meetings in Nebraska City to get community input regarding the riverfront.