City will discuss repurposing Lincoln’s “Apex @ City Center”
Group asks that the Apex be transformed into a dog park - Part one

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[October 11, 2016]  LINCOLN - At tonight’s meeting of the Lincoln City Council, on the agenda is the continuation of a discussion that started two weeks ago regarding the future of the Apex @ City Center, and the city’s involvement in the creation of a dog park at that same location.

On September 27th, Brittney McLaughlin addressed the council representing a group who is working to establish “Central Bark Dog Park” in the city. In her presentation, she requested that the city re-purpose the property on Eighth Street, officially named Apex @ City Center, to become Central Bark Dog Park. Speaking on behalf of the whole committee, she presented a concept for the park and a plan for the city to take over the administration of the park.

At the end of her presentation, there was some discussion among the aldermen. However, no action items were added to the next voting session. Instead, aldermen said they wanted time to contemplate the request and to also discuss it publicly at the new Committee of the Whole, scheduled for October 11th.

History of Apex at City Center

In September 2011, after moving to its new location on the city’s west side, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital officials determined that the old hospital on Eighth Street would be demolished. Soon after, it was decided that the hospital would give the Eight Street property to the city. Parcels of the total property were also donated to the Lincoln Elementary School District and St. John’s United Church of Christ. The largest portion of the site, approximately 5.5 acres, was donated to the city. During the discussions between the city and the hospital, it was determined that the city should use the property for a health-related project.

During a ceremony for the deed transfer, then Mayor Keith Snyder announced that the city would work to develop the property into a health park.

In October 2011, a committee was formed, and discussions began on what the vacant lot would become. With several involved in the process, the committee came up with the Apex @ City Center, stressing that it was not a city park, but rather an outdoor health and exercise area.

In January of 2012, the final draft of the concept drawing for the health center was unveiled at a public meeting held at the Lincoln's Central School.

In March, the city of Lincoln approved the plan for the park, with no funding for the completion of the project coming from the city. Snyder indicated that a fundraising committee would be established, and there would be future opportunities for grants.

Since 2012, there has been very little additional discussion about the Apex @ City Center.

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History of the Dog Park project

In November of 2013, Kelly McEvers, a radio journalist with NPR, who hails from Lincoln, delivered a stinging report about the city of Lincoln in a national radio broadcast. While McEvers claimed to be using her hometown as an example of the deterioration of small-town America, it hit home hard, and stunned many community leaders into action.

As it happened, local business owner Patrick Doolin and the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce had scheduled a Boomtown USA meeting, a follow-up to a meeting held in October. With the outrage over the article the meeting quickly became a town hall meeting to fight back against the perception of Lincoln presented by McEvers.

Later, inspired inspired by a Letter to the Editor by Snyder, entitled “We are Lincoln,” a new  “We are Lincoln” group would evolve.

[Nila Smith]

Past related articles

Apex @ City Center


Dog Park

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