NEBRASKA CITY – Community organizer Jim Kuhn told Rotarians Wednesday that the  Veterans Memorial Building in Nebraska City needs new ideas to go with its new windows.

A Wirth Foundation grant has provided replacement of 122 steel-frame, single-paned windows and Leo A Daly is finishing designs for a bathroom on three levels, ramps and elevators.

As much as the improvements are appreciated, Kuhn said there is still work ahead to bring the 23,000-square-foot building back to original function, when the Committee of 100 raised the funds for its construction in two years.

Kuhn: “They dedicated it on Armistice Day 11/11 1929 and it was used then as a multi-purpose building. That is what we are trying to bring it back to.”

He said the building was dedicated in honor of veterans of the Spanish American War and World War I and the veterans room on the east side is a priority for future renovations.

He credited city utilities for help with the window project and City Administrator Grayson Path.

Kuhn: “It can’t be done without the community support, without the city support, without the utility support.”

He said it’s a community building and the community is needed if it is to have a prosperous future.

In its heyday, the building was used for proms, All-Star Wrestling, weddings, concerts and as a community playhouse. He said a culinary incubator is still being considered.

He said the uses of the past might return, but not the free admission.

Kuhn: “But, what it was the in the past, everyone says well I went to a coin show and it didn’t cost me anything to get in, those days are gone. This building has to maintain itself. It has to stand on its own two feet.”

The Veterans Memorial Building Committee is planning to formally kick off a fundraising campaign on 9/9/19 and will have a float in the AppleJack Parade.