Our community isn't afraid to think big

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Any doubt that McCook likes to think big should be a thing of the past.

The city police, administration and fire departments are still settling in to their new facilities, and the McCook Community College Events Center is just completing its first year of service.

The Armed Forces Reserve Center has become a landmark on the eastern approach to McCook, the remodeled and restored Fox Theatre is enjoying a renaissance and Community Hospital is just completing a major expansion and remodeling project.

But the hospital isn't done, as was revealed at a news conference this morning.

Thanks to the generosity of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which awarded a grant of $2,996,771, patients will be able to receive radiation oncology and cancer services right here in McCook, rather than spending hours traveling to and from treatment centers in larger cities.

The money has been designated for the purchase of a new linear accelerator for Community Hospital's Radiation Oncology Center.

Beginning this spring, the hospital plans to build the 4,200-square-foot addition on the east side of the Medical Specialists Center on the hospital campus, for a total project cost of $6 million, which was already kick-started through a $500,000 lead gift from Andy Anderson and the late Geri Anderson.

Another major community project officially began Monday with groundbreaking for the new $5.4 million county law enforcement center, which includes a 24-bed jail and sheriff's offices.

That project is expected to last 14 months, depending on the weather. If that's what it takes to make it rain, as one commissioner suggested Monday, we'd be happy to see it take longer.

One project we wouldn't want to see take any longer than necessary is the H Street project, which got under way in earnest this week with tons of old paving being broken up and hauled away by heavy trucks that shake the ground as they pass.

Make sure to avoid H Street if you plan to drive to the hospital or other points in east McCook, and take extra caution when using side streets.

And, while not as permanent at least two more "big" projects are in the offing for McCook.

The first is the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, an eight-foot tall, 360-foot long, 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Wall in Washington that will be installed on Weiland Field. It will be open from noon Thursday, May 16, until 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19.

Sponsored by the Chris Hansen American Legion Post No. 203, with assistance by the Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and others, the project can still use contributions, which can be left at the front desk at McCook National Bank.

The second is at an earlier stage of planning, but will take just as much or more planning.

The McCook Ministerial Association plans to present "The Tabernacle Experience" during Heritage Days. This is a full-size, 75 feet by 150 feet replica of the biblical Tabernacle, which will give visitors an idea what it would have been like to worship in Old Testament times.

A planning meeting is set for 7 p.m. today at the McCook Evangelical Free Church if you would like to get involved.

And, we're sure we've left out many other "big" projects of the permanent and temporary type that take many volunteers with vision and dedication to complete.

We should all be grateful to live in a place where people are willing to invest their time, talents and treasure for the betterment of the community.

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  • McCook is on the move! Thanks to all the volunteers and citizens.

    -- Posted by dennis on Tue, Apr 23, 2013, at 3:53 PM
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