Our Town Gothenburg: Impact Center

Pure Nebraska
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:11 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:21 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GOTHENBURG, Neb. (KOLN) - A 40,000-square foot facility under construction in Gothenburg is set to have a big impact on the community when it comes to child care.

We visited with Colten Venteicher about the project which is called the “Impact Center.” He says the project has four components. “First and foremost, it will have an early childhood learning center that will serve nearly 300 kids at peak capacity,” Venteicher said. “Secondly, you’ll have a 400-person capacity event center, that will be open for the whole community to use. Third, we’ll have a healthy families center to provide important resources to residents, and the last piece will be a 6,000-square foot indoor sports training center. This will allow community organizations and sports teams to practice inside when the weather isn’t so good outside.”

The work on the Impact Center started about five years ago. “A group of us got together, and said, ok, from a child care perspective, we have about 100 kids in our community that don’t have access to licensed child care,” Venteicher said. “We really looked closely at how we could provide a long-term sustainable solution to that issue. What resulted was this Impact Center piece. It’s the result of a lot of collaboration with our different community partners, the city, the school, the hospital, and our private businesses. Really, everyone came together to make this work.”

Venteicher says building the Impact Center is important to the future of Gothenburg because of its focus on child care. “The importance of child care is two fold,” Venteicher said. “One, you can look at the brain science behind it. We know that when a child reaches the age of 3, 90% of their brain has already developed. If we can get them in a program with high standards, we can ensure those kids are prepared to succeed in the school system when they get older. Also, employers have a hard time hiring people when those people don’t have a good place to take their kids. So, we came together to try and find an answer to this problem.”

The Impact Center is just under a year into construction. “We will see substantial completion in August of 2024, where we can go up and operational,” Venteicher said. “This project is full steam ahead. At the end of the day this is a game-changer for the community of Gothenburg. What we’ve done with this project is we’ve created a public-private partnership that is unprecedented in the state. We want to be a model for other communities on how to successfully deal with the need to provide more early childhood learning options for families.”