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Nebraska residents propose aquatics, events center

August 26, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — A group of Nebraska residents is proposing a $45 million aquatics and events center in Scottsbluff.

Local resident Dave Schaff told the Scottsbluff City Council that the group hopes the facility will be operated as a private-public partnership

“We’re just a group of citizens in the Scottsbluff and Gering area that are working to help make the area a better place to live,” Schaff said. “We’re business owners that recognize the need for a better quality of life. This is a project we’ve all spent a lot of time on and are passionate about.”

The first part of the project would focus on the aquatics center and is estimated to cost about $20 million, Schaff said. The facility would feature recreational and competitive pools that could accommodate all age groups, he said. The group has negotiated for 40 acres of land to be donated to the project.

The project’s $25 million second phase would involve a 5,000-seat events center, which would be able to accommodate concerts, sporting event tournaments and other events, Schaff said. The project would also include parking for about 1,200 vehicles.

“We’ve met with all the local interest groups, such as Scottsbluff Public Schools, the YMCA, the hospital and college,” Schaff said. “We’re trying to promote a regional concept that will meet everyone’s needs.”

The project is expected to take three years.

A city proposal for a half-cent sales tax increase for infrastructure would partially fund the center. Scottsbluff voters will consider the measure in November.

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