Willard Community Center to be renovated - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Willard Community Center to be renovated

The building of Willard Community Center has been serving west Lincoln for nearly a century. 

Today, they broke ground on a nearly $2 million renovation project. 

The building once served as an elementary school, but in the 1960s, it's purpose changed. 

It became a community center vital to its neighborhood with programs and services for everyone from preschoolers to seniors. 

"It's vital to the community because we are the only human service agency in the neighborhood," Janelle Solderling said. "They come here to vote, they come here to have licensed child care, they come here for just all kinds of activities." 

But the building is old, and needs some new life. 

The center's Capital Campaign Committee began fundraising, headed by Kathy LeBaron, finding donors wasn't an easy task, she said. 

Mostly because not many people are familiar with the west Lincoln neighborhood, let alone the Willard Community Center, she said. 

But once donors heard Willard's story and visited, they were on board, LeBaron said. 

They've raised $1.9 million dollars from 132 different donors. 

Donations ranged from $20 to $250,000 dollars, she said. 

While they hope to raise more, construction will begin on May 30. They hope to have construction done in time for their summer 2018 program. 

The community center will close during the year, but their programs will continue at their Capitol Beach and Q Street location and Roper Elementary School. 

For more information about donating and their programs, check out their website

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