Grading crews were sighted at the future home to Northstar near 50th and Ames Avenue on Thursday, November 15. Activity is a-flurry there as the work to raise NorthStar’s new multi-million after-school facility is underway. When complete, the new NorthStar campus will include a 34,500 square foot building and 225 ft x 345 ft soccer/football field, in addition to the Hitchcock High Ropes Challenge Course. The 16-month construction project is the next step in fulfilling NorthStar’s vision to dramatically increase the graduation rate for North Omaha boys. “NorthStar has examined models nationwide and the new indoor-outdoor facilities will provide a world-class program for Omaha’s most challenged young men,” said Board Chairman Richard D. Holland. NorthStar’s construction project will also benefit the Fontenelle View neighborhood by creating a new section of 49th Avenue, opening up current dead ends at Taylor, Boyd, Sahler, and Sprague Streets.
NorthStar, Walmart and Others Revitalize Fontenelle View
NorthStar isn’t the only organization building in the Fontenelle View neighborhood; Heartland Family Services is remodeling a four-story building formerly known as Park Crest at 4842 Sprague Street, and Walmart announced plans earlier to build a 187,000 square foot Superstore nearby. The NorthStar after-school facility will sit just north of the existing Hitchcock High Ropes Challenge Course, on land leased from the Omaha Home for Boys. “This is a real game changer,” said NorthStar Foundation President, Scott Hazelrigg. “This development fulfills the critical, unmet needs of North Omaha’s young males from the fifth through twelfth grades. Just as we seek to create new opportunities for male youth in North Omaha, this construction project will be the spark that will change the trajectory of the neighborhood surrounding 50th Street and Ames Avenue.”
Breaking Down the Building Project
Much happens between the first moving of earth and the raising of a completed building. During the fall of 2012, the site will be graded and a surcharge, or large dirt mound, will be created to compact soil at the site in preparation for laying the foundation in the spring. Things will really get moving in the spring of 2013 as the surcharge is removed, the sewer separation work starts, and construction of the new facility and stretch of street begins. The campus and surrounding street is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014 with the after-school facility opening to serve its first young men in fall 2014. In the first year, North Omaha boys in fifth through eighth grades will have the opportunity to enroll in NorthStar’s programming, delivered in five key areas: Academic Achievement, Athletics and Healthy Lifestyles, Adventure and Experiential Learning (delivered through Outward Bound Omaha), Arts Immersion, and Employment Readiness.