Welcome back, friends; take a look around

Friday, September 28, 2007

Welcome back to McCook, alumni, family and friends.

It's great to have you back in town for McCook's big Quasquicentennial --?125th birthday bash.

We hope you don't miss a thing, whether it's the goings-on at Norris Park, the parade, the Fox Theatre performances, the Air Base reunion or dozens of other events. We know you'll have a good time.

But if it's been a few years since you've been here, we hope you take time to look around town before you head home. We've got a few new things we're proud of, and don't mind showing them off.

A logical place to start, if you're here for a class reunion, is the McCook Public Schools. The Bison are out of town tonight on their quest for another trip to state, but cruise past Weiland Field and you'll see new visiting team lockers, restrooms and concession stand, and new sidewalks for better accessibility.

While you're in the neighborhood, walk through the beautiful McCook Community College campus, and take a gander at the Hormel Business and Technology Center and other new buildings around campus. If things go well -- and you may even be able to play a part -- there'll be a new sports and activity center across M Street in what is now part of Kelley Park.

Drive over to "North Ward" and you'll see the new McCook Elementary, a primary school that takes the place of three older schools. East Ward now houses upscale condominiums, and perhaps you've got an idea for the old West Ward building.

McCook Junior and Senior High buildings have undergone upgrades as well, and check out the beautiful new tennis courts west of the high school building.

You've probably already driven on West J Street, recently reopened after a repaving project, and you'll notice a new pharmacy, new restaurants and other new businesses along North U.S. Highway 83, and our "main drag," B Street, which was completely rebuilt over the past few years.

You probably won't notice the difference, but that faucet now delivers high quality water, thanks to a new, state-of-the-art water treatment plant recently put into operation south of town.

If you arrived by air, you landed at what is now McCook Regional Airport, where a new instrument landing system is bing installed.

On your way to Norris Park, you drove past Community Hospital, with a new rehabilitation center that is the envy of some big-city hospitals.

And, although you'll probably be too busy, you might have time to slip in a quick game of golf at the Broken T Par 3 or Heritage Hills golf courses, or perhaps take in a game of disc golf in the new course in Kelley Park.

Or, perhaps shoot some hoops in the new Russell Park at the east water tower, or take the grandkids to Barnett Park.

You'll probably notice you have better cellular phone service than you did on your last visit, and if you just can't go a day without checking your stocks or e-mail, you'll find a "hot spot" for your wireless laptop at the McCook City Library, the Bieroc Cafe, Pizza Hut or elsewhere.

So welcome back, old friend. We think, after you look around, you'll be as proud of our town as we are.

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