Life Center For Gothenburg - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Life Center For Gothenburg

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Folks in Gothenburg have joined in on an effort to revive the small community.

Plans have begun for the construction of what locals say is much more than a recreational center. It's like a rec center, it gives people a place to work out, but it will also be a place where people can just sit down with one another, talk and live life.

"Gothenburg is a growing community and there is just not a whole lot in Gothenburg for children to do," said Dee Miller, owner of Dee Floral and Gifts. She is a mother of three and is like most families in this small town, with not much to do outside of school and work.

That is where The Crossing Fellowship comes in. "That one piece is what we feel like is a life center," said Lead Pastor Eric Most.

"It's going to have a gym in it and rooms surrounding it with everything from a coffee shop to a golf simulator," said Family Pastor Dustin Schledewitz.

This rec center won't just be a place to work out, but much more. "No matter where you are in the building, it's a context where relationships can begin and grow," said Most.

A church family bringing this big of a project together has had to overcome some fears and hurdles. The lead pastor reassures the community it will be a place for building relationships.

"Some folks feel like if they walk into this it will be like walking into a church, which it won't be at all," said Most. "We won't be beating anyone over the head with a bible."

A common question that has been brought up is why doesn't the city build this or bring in a YMCA. "The city has explored doing that but can't find it profitable -- so this is actually a win-win," explained Most. 

Local doctor Craig Bartruff donated five acres for the project.

"A community member who caught the vision that could be and what should be and felt like for this next generation that this was something that was necessary," explained Most. 

A vision where grandparents, husbands, moms and kids can all be together to enjoy life under one roof. "I know my kids and my whole family would want a membership," said Miller.

So far, $500,000 has been pledged, but it will take $3 million to complete the project. That's down from what they thought would be a $5 million project thanks to people in their church with construction background.

The project is estimated to be finished by 2018 unless funds are met earlier than expected.

For more information, visit ForGothenburg.com.

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