Legacy Station

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Wood River’s Legacy Station, the first of its kind multi-generational community center in Nebraska, builds upon successful community redevelopment efforts launched in 2020 through the continued renovation of a vacated skilled nursing facility. Upon completion of this project, the Maltman Memorial Library, Wood River Food Pantry, and Wood River Senior Center will be moved into renovated spaces, adjacent to the Stick Creek Kids Child Development Center. Having all four entities located under one roof will allow area residents of all ages and backgrounds to have greater access to the services and supports of each entity.

Why the name?

Why the name Legacy Station?

Wood River came into existence and has grown and flourished around several ‘stations.’ The community of Wood River was first established around Jackson’s store, which served as a way station along the Old California/ Oregon trail and Old Military Road from Fort Omaha to Fort Kearney at the end of the Civil War.

A decade later, forward thinking community leaders agreed to pick up the entire town and move it three miles east where the Union Pacific Railroad plated a new station, knowing that towns that survived and thrived would have a railroad station at the heart of the town where travelers, goods, and news would pass through. With the arrival of the transcontinental highway, the community again evolved with modern service stations drawing motorists into the community and when plans were discussed to bypass Wood River when the highway was realigned in the 1930s, community leaders fought to keep the highway along the business district which allowed the community to continue to grow while other communities established around the same time have vanished from the landscape.

During the floods of 2019, the community came together to rise above the devastation with the fire station serving as a command post and community gathering space.

A legacy, or gift, is passed from one generation to the next The legacy of a life includes the accomplishments of the individual (or in this case community) and the impact let on people and places. We all have a choice of what type of legacy we want to leave in the world.

Drawing on a biblical reference, Proverbs 13:22 proclaims, ‘A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.’

Legacy Station could be the inheritance this generation leaves for the next to help propel the community into the next century.

Preliminary Floor Plan

Renovation Plans for Legacy Station

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Senior Center

Preliminary Floor Plan

At our current location, services are limited due to sharing space with the food pantry. The space is being used for cross-purposes, thus not fulfilling the purpose of the senior center. On occasion, our coffee groups and the backpack volunteers compete for space. Ladies that participate in exercise class are having to go to another building as the current area is too small. This is a less than ideal situation, trying to coordinate times of use between the food pantry and senior center. Both entities would greatly benefit with having their own, intentional space.

The opportunity for a larger location, offers huge benefits. It would allow a safe and accessible building for seniors that is ADA compliant.

It will help to build a community with the elderly and will open up opportunities to better serve seniors’ needs. Such services are vital to the mental and physical health of older people in the area. Seniors can become more active and socially interact with the younger generations. They’ll feel safe and secure, come to socialize, participate in activities and receive fresh, hot meals.

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Maltman Memorial Library

Although the library would like to expand programming, our space is inadequate. Currently the seating for any meeting or event is limited to eight people, which makes the activities a “first-come, first-served” arrangement.

The building was built in 1964 and it does not meet ADA guidelines. There is no handicap parking, the outside doors are too narrow for a wheelchair, and the bathroom is not compliant. A new library would have all these things, making it more accessible to all.

Expanding our book collection to add quality, award winning books to the children’s and teen’s department has been challenging.

Our current teen area is confined to a small area in the adult section, which is not ideal and there is no more room for their books. 

The children’s area has the same problem; the shelves are full, with no room for new books. It is vital that a library keep the book collection up to date and be able to offer new books to all ages, but with a confined space, our options are limited.

A new library will allow us to have a dedicated teen space, a large children’s area, an expanded Maker Space, and a sizable meeting/event room.  The community history/genealogy room will help preserve the history of Wood River for future generations.   All these things combined will help us grow into a hub for community activities and information. 

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Food Pantry

Preliminary Floor Plan

The Food Pantry previously shared space with the Senior Center. It is a small hallway and closet space, and frequently the on-hand food spills out into Senior Center space. Due to the space constraints, it recently moved to a large garage behind Stick Creek Kids, which is helpful, but still not ideal.

With the new location at Legacy Station, the Food Pantry will have a much bigger space, designed to function in the way it is being utilized by patrons and volunteers. The pantry will have more canned goods and refrigerated storage and will be able to offer more fresh produce and frozen meats.

The Pantry will have more space to assemble backpacks for Wood River Elementary students. Unloading will also be easier in the new space! The semi-truck from Food Bank for the Heartland will have a paved driveway and will be able to pull up next to an overhead door, where volunteers will be able to use a pallet jack to unload pallets.

In addition to all these improvements, patrons of the pantry will have increased privacy as they access the Food Pantry and allow improved accessibility without shame.

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