Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
March 30, 2016

Contact Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9313 or @nebraska.gov@nebraska.gov

New Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home Ground Breaking Held

Kearney – The Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home in Kearney reached another milestone today with an official ground breaking.  Construction will begin in April.
 
Governor Pete Ricketts, Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse, and John Hilgert, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Veterans’ Homes, joined by others in the community, turned the first shovels of dirt. 

“Over the course my travels across the state, I have met numerous veterans and their families,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Nebraskans are proud of our military personnel and our veterans, who have sacrificed so much for their home and country.”

Governor Ricketts also thanked the City of Kearney and the Kearney community for their generosity and commitment to the new Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home, which will replace the current Veterans’ Home in Grand Island. 

“It is genuinely inspiring to see the support and excitement in the greater Kearney area for the Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The community has come together to forge a partnership with the state to serve our veterans.”

Legislation in 2013 authorized the construction of a new facility.  Design work began in June 2014 and the new facility is estimated to be completed by late 2018 or early 2019.

“This project has been a priority for Nebraska,” said Hilgert.  “This moves us closer to a new, modern facility for Nebraska’s heroes, for those who have served our country with honor.”

“The City of Kearney is proud and excited to be the location for the new Central Nebraska Veteran’s Home, said Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse.  “The new home will be the envy of the entire country and our veterans deserve the very best we have to offer.” 

The DHHS Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home will be built on the site of the former Kearney Army Air Base where base housing was located, and will be a neighbor to the current Nebraska National Guard Armory.  A new park, Patriots Park, is under construction across the street from the Veterans’ Home site and will be completed by next spring.

Bill Fullmer, an Air Force veteran who currently lives at the Grand Island Veterans’ Home and will move into the new facility, was one who also broke ground.  “It’s an honor as a veteran to celebrate this new facility,” he said.  “This will be a nice place to live.”

Fullmer served from 1962-1968 as an Administrative Specialist and is the sixth generation in his family to serve in the military. 

In addition to construction of the new facility, Hilgert said plans are underway for the transition of staff and members to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible.  “On the day of the move our plan is to have breakfast in Grand Island and lunch in Kearney,” he said.  “Our goal is for the move to be seamless.”

-30-