LINCOLN–(News Release July 25)–Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and City officials today celebrated the grand opening of the new combined Air Park Community Center and Williams Branch Library, 4900 Mike Scholl St. in Huskerville Park.
“The investment in our new combined Air Park Community Center and Williams Branch Library will positively impact the quality of life of our northwest Lincoln neighbors,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “This new facility is a testament to the value we place on the benefits of recreation and education for all Lincoln residents.”
Construction on the 25,280-square-foot facility began in summer 2022. The new building includes the Williams Branch Library, a full-sized gymnasium, three smaller wellness rooms, a multipurpose room, and a game room. The park space surrounding the building includes an artificial turf playfield, a playground, half basketball court and an open-air picnic shelter. Space north of the community center is reserved for potential relocation of the Arnold Heights Pool.
The total cost of the new facility including the outdoor play structure is about $10.5 million, with funds provided by a combination of the City’s Capital Improvement Program and a capital campaign conducted by the Lincoln Parks Foundation.
Originally called the Arnold Heights Recreation Center, the facility opened in 1974 in a structure built in 1954 as part of the Lincoln Air Base. The Williams Branch Library opened in 2009 in the Arnold Elementary School, 5000 Mike Scholl St., replacing a converted Housing Authority duplex that served as the area’s library since 1973.
Traci Glass, Lincoln City Libraries Assistant Director, and Maggie Stuckey-Ross, Parks and Recreation Department Director, said the new facility creates a safe, accessible campus that meets the needs of the families of the Arnold Heights neighborhood.
“With a new schedule, better visibility on NW 48th Street, and an exciting partnership with the recreation center, the library anticipates a strong increase in new activity from the community, while remaining a convenient resource for Arnold Elementary students,” Glass said.
“We are grateful for the support and input from Air Park residents and our partners to make this facility possible,” Stuckey-Ross said. “Alongside Lincoln City Libraries, we look forward to being more accessible to the neighborhood and providing new activities and opportunities for all residents.”
For more information about the project, visit parks.lincoln.ne.gov (search: Air Park Project). For more information on parks, visit parks.lincoln.ne.gov. For more information about LCL, visit lincolnlibraries.org.