BY Dan Swanson at NCN.
NEBRASKA CITY – Organizers say Saturday morning’s Veteran’s Memorial Building Summit raised optimism about the building’s future in Nebraska City.
Ted Beilman, president of the building project, said the library meeting was filled to capacity with 65 people and many more ideas.
Beilman: “I’m much more encouraged just from the turnout that we had, the suggestions that we’ve come up with. People are enthused about it. They know that we can bring that building back to life, that it’s very doable.”
Jay Kline of Leo A Daly architects said although the building has been inactive since 2007, it remains structurally sound.
He said the building’s architecture, its history and its purpose deserves to be preserved. He suggested a culinary kitchen in the basement and demonstration kitchen near the second-level auditorium for cooking classes.
Jim Trebbian, a Profit Source consultant and former dean of culinary arts at Metropolitan Community College, said a 2014 market and viability study indicated potential for a culinary arts incubator and commercial cannery in the basement level.
Beilman said Profit Source will use input from the summit meeting to develop a business plan for the building.
Beilman: “Again, the building needs to be self-supporting. It needs to raise money to pay for the utilities and have someone take care of the maintenance and that type of thing. They’ll be coming up with the business plan and the strategic plan and we’ll be able to look at that and have a good blueprint on how to move forward.”
He said ideas like using the auditorium for indoor auctions and a year around farmers market could help bring multiple revenue streams to the building.