Scope of work includes the development of a full-size athletic field and parking lot along Bennington Road, along with an initial section of walking trail
BENNINGTON, Neb. (June 23, 2023) — Construction is about to get underway on the next phase of a 50-acre park and athletic complex which will significantly expand the parkland, trail system and youth athletic facilities in the fast-growing community of Bennington, Nebraska. Once fully built out, Neumeyer Farm will include seven regulation-size athletic fields, parking for nearly 800 vehicles, an extensive walking/biking trail, and a large
community gathering space among other amenities.
The city of Bennington, Bennington Community Foundation, Bennington Soccer Club and Bennington Youth Football in 2021 announced a master plan to develop Neumeyer Farm in the area situated between Bennington Road to the north, 156th Street to the east, and Kempten Creek Drive to the south and west. Neumeyer Farm is named for the Neumeyer family which first settled in Bennington in the late 1800s and farmed the area for several generations. In 2020, the family donated a portion of the property to the city.
According to Bennington Mayor Zac Johns, the Neumeyer Farm project epitomizes the extraordinary commitment to community he sees demonstrated time and again in Bennington.
“We were finalizing design plans and beginning to lay out a timeline for construction when the pandemic hit and we had to put things on hold,” he said. “But rather than throwing in the towel, people kept working on the project behind the scenes so that when the time was right, we could hit the ground running.”
“I’m so thankful to all those who have so far given their time, talent and money in support of this project. It makes me incredibly proud to be part of this community, and I can’t wait to see Neumeyer Farm start to come to life,” he added.
Part of that behind-the-scenes effort involved the launch of a capital fundraising campaign, with more than 100 community members initially donating to the project. Their early support, along with a naming rights sponsorship of the athletic complex by OneStaff Medical, were crucial in the project being awarded a $437,700 matching grant from the state of Nebraska last June as part of the Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery & Investment Act.
That grant provided was the impetus to restart work on the project. Preliminary earthwork and construction of an access road were completed in 2022, along with the preparation of construction bid documents.
Following a competitive bid process, the Bennington City Council earlier this year awarded a $970,000 contract to Blade Masters for the construction of the first phase of the athletic complex. Owned by long-time Bennington resident, Larry Goertz, Blade Masters has successfully delivered similar projects for the city of Omaha including athletic fields at N.P. Dodge Park.
While site preparation is already underway, work on the athletic complex will begin in earnest following a project kick-off event at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 28. The scope of work includes the development of a full-size athletic field and parking lot along Bennington Road, along with the initial section of trail that will traverse the complex. Construction is expected to be complete later this fall, with the athletic field playable in mid-2024.
The scope of work for the first phase of the athletic complex development is delineated in red above. Work includes the development of a full-size athletic field and parking lot along Bennington Road, along with an initial section of the walking/biking trail.
For Shawn Ekker, president of Bennington Youth Football, and Justin Hughes, president of the Bennington Soccer Club, the athletic complex can’t come soon enough for either of their organizations.
“We now have more than 600 kids playing soccer in Bennington each season,” said Hughes. “We want to keep kids in Bennington, and facilities like those being developed at Neumeyer Farm are crucial to helping both of our organizations accommodate growing demand.”
Planning and fundraising for the next phase of the complex is already underway. Tentative plans call for the construction of a second field, the addition of paved parking stalls and an extension of the trail system.
“I’m overwhelmed by the excitement for the project,” said Tim Clark, president of the Bennington Community Foundation which is leading the fundraising effort. “But the reality is, this is a multi-year, multi-phase project. We are hopeful once the community starts to see activity on the site, more people will lend their support so we can keep the momentum going.”
More information about future phases, along with sponsorship and donation opportunities can be found at www.neumeyerfarm.org.
About Neumeyer Farm
Neumeyer Farm is a 50-acre park and athletic complex being developed in the heart of Bennington, Nebraska — the state's fastest growing community. The project features seven high-quality, multipurpose athletic fields as well as accessible parking, biking and walking paths, and greenspace for farmers markets, outdoor concerts and the community’s annual Bennington Daze festival. The project will serve all ages in this suburban community of 16,000 in addition to sparking vital business development.