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Bern Community Building
On Monday, June 30, 2003, the Kansas Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the award of a KAN STEP grant in the amount of $350,089 to the City of Bern for a new community building. The Commerce grant will pay for materials and professional services to construct a new community building in Bern. A local citizen is donating land valued at $15,000. Local citizens will volunteer labor and equipment estimated at $224,471 for a total project cost of $589,560.
This project construction was delayed for nearly a year because of issues which subsequently necessitated the re-bidding of the project materials and some labor services for the foundation and floor. Construction began in June 2004.
The architect for the project is Rosemann & Associates, PC, Overland Park, KS. Local volunteers will be led by "sparkplugs" Teresa Stallbaumer and Wilfred Strahm. Other building committee members are Larry Grose, Alan Haverkamp, Debra Meyer and Terry Sheik. The Kansas Rural Water Association provides inspection services and on-site assistance for KAN STEP projects. The grant administrator for this project is Donna Crawford of Governmental Assistance Services, Lawrence.
Bern's new community building will be 74 feet wide by 102 feet long. The interior floor plan as shown below, features numerous angular walls with sections of suspended ceilings to improve acoustics. The Bern community building will be constructed on the north side of Main Street and will feature a "clock tower." The clock will likely be donated. The building will be set back from the street to accommodate a plaza area at the entrance. The facade will have brick and stucco finish with the sides and back of the building being metal clad. As of July 1, the architect and Building Committee are preparing bid packages.
This is the second KAN STEP program to benefit the Bern community. In 2001, Nemaha Rural Water District No. 1, which provides water service to the city and to area farms and residences, successfully completed the construction of a water system improvement, installing 7 miles of pipe in 9 days.
The KAN STEP program is part of the Kansas Department of Commerce (Commerce) federally funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Commerce initiated KAN STEP in 2000 to give small Kansas communities an opportunity to do major community improvement projects they couldn't otherwise afford.