NorthStar, an after-school nonprofit serving boys in north Omaha, broke ground Wednesday on a $6 million addition.
HDR designed the 18,000-square-foot addition to the current building at 4242 N. 49th St. Kiewit Corp. will build it. Construction is scheduled to be completed a year from now.
The addition comes almost five years after NorthStar opened in what was then a new building east of the Omaha Home for Boys campus near 52nd Street and Ames Avenue.
The building’s growth mirrors the organization’s growth: NorthStar has gone from serving about 100 middle-school-age boys each day to close to 200 boys in third through 12th grades.
NorthStar hopes to serve almost 300 boys a day when the addition opens. Currently, the organization tracks 500 students and has served about 5,600 total.
The addition would include a high school wing with classrooms and study rooms for college and career-readiness programming. There would also be an “innovation hub” for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, robotics competitions, Outward Bound School programs and large-group activities. Plans also call for an outdoor patio and two-story dining hall.
NorthStar charges $100 a year for boys but has a sliding scale to accommodate participant household incomes that average about $15,000 a year. The ultimate goal is to keep boys on track academically and have them graduate from high school on time and be goal-directed for life after that.