This story was modified to show the correct date for the open house is Sunday, Aug. 26
Work is nearing completion on the third floor of the Central Kansas Dream Center, formerly Great Bend’s Roosevelt Junior High School, and ambassadors for the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce got a sneak peek at a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning. On Sunday, from 2-4 p.m., the public is invited to an open house to see what’s behind the huge arched window facing Broadway Ave. installed earlier this year.
The open house also marks the five-year anniversary of the opening of the Central Kansas Dream Center, said director Kimberly Becker. In that time, classrooms on the first two levels have been transformed into living spaces for the residential program participants and gathering spaces for group events were created. The community at large has thrown its support behind the efforts through private donations, volunteering, and prayers.
“We’ve come a long way and have much to celebrate,” Becker said.
Third floor renovation nearing completion
For more than a year, work has been underway to complete the renovation of the third floor. One of the obstacles that had to be overcome in order to utilize the space was the lack of an elevator.
“When the elevator kit was shipped, one piece, the main switch, was broken,” Becker said.
That set work back, so it won’t be ready for the weekend. But the rest of the third floor, as well as the rest of the center, will be on display, she said.
There are seven apartments: a two-bedroom, a one-bedroom, and five studios. There are also public bathrooms, a clinic space, offices and a board room.
“Our goal is to have three apartments house overnight staff and the rest for married couples,” Becker said.
The Center, in its infancy, provided transitional housing for women and children through the Daniel R. Trickey Life Giving Center, still housed there in the lower level of the building. But Becker was not content to stop there. Over the next couple of years, first a Women’s Discipleship Program and then a Men’s Discipleship Program were established. Both of the programs are nine-month Christian-based residential programs that help participants overcome a variety of life controlling issues, both chemical and emotional, often the result of trauma experienced earlier in their lives. Next, the need for transitional living for young people aging out of the foster care system was identified, and the staff geared up to fill yet another gap.
One of the trickier needs, however, is for programs that support married couples in order to strengthen families. With the completion of the third-floor living spaces, that will now be possible in Great Bend, Becker said.
Free at the Central Kansas Dream Center
Submission Martial Arts
-Self Defense for Women
Tues., 7-8 p.m.
Tues, 8-9 p.m.
If you are interested in more information you can call Nick Taylor at 620-792-9567 or you can call Kimberly Becker at the Dream Center at 620 282-4014.
Still more dreams
In July 2016, The Central Kansas Dream Center became eligible to sell $200,000 in tax credits through the state in order to secure funding for the renovations. Private donations have also gone a long way toward raising the money needed to complete phases of construction to date. Additional fundraising is needed for additional phases of the renovation, like transforming the old auditorium.
“Ultimately, it will be used for religious services, theatrical and healing arts,” Becker said. “Once the rest of the third floor is completed, we’ll start refurbishing the auditorium.”
As for the existing chapel on the lower level, Becker has plans for it down the road, too.
“We’re actually going to take it back to a gymnasium and create a rec room for the people who live in the building.”
The space will also be available to the public for classes like the free self defense for women and Jujitsu classes currently taught by a Dream Center volunteer on Tuesday nights.
Becker and staff look forward to Sunday’s celebration. In addition to guided tours, there will be refreshments provided during the open house from 2-4 p.m.