Auburn’s Successes, Goals Shared with Peru State Students; Formal Presentation Scheduled In Spring
About 20 Auburn residents met with the Peru State College Community Development Class Monday night, Feb. 18, at the Auburn City Hall.
The college students and Auburn representatives who attended divided into three groups. Auburn community leaders identified the city’s successes, short-term goals and long-term goals.
Included were: the recreation complex, city hall/senior center, the Auburn State Theater, Rotary Lake, the school bond for 24 classrooms and a gymnasium, Calvert-Sheridan Days, patriotic events, the Nemaha County Fair, saving Peru State College, the park, swimming pool and downtown revitalization.
Included were: historic preservation, no empty buildings downtown, making downtown a place of activity, attracting young families to live to Auburn, evening activities for gathering and community engagement, a bicycling/walking trail around the city, employment opportunities, a Welcome to Auburn sign, an active leadership program, a performing arts center, water line on the west side of Auburn, affordable quality housing with a focus on rental, a major community annual event, and expanded retail selection and retail hours.
Included were: a bicycling trail, high school performing arts center, further revitalizing businesses, improving tourism, more food selections, housing, environmental improvements, healthy living, Wellness Center improvements, amusement park, a welcome sign, antique stores and retail shopping, festival, historic district, family-friendly community, more youth, new businesses, pride and community engagement.
Further Thoughts About Auburn’s Successes
Longtime Auburn resident Daryl Obermeyer explained what made some of Auburn’s successes.
The Calvert-Sheridan Days celebration involved volunteers and activities for all age groups, he said.
Auburn area residents have supported veterans activities, Obermeyer said.
Those include the Avenue of Flags display on patriotic holidays, the Nemaha County Veterans Memorial in Auburn Legion Memorial Park and when military bands came to Auburn to perform.
“During the Nemaha County Fair, you see people you don’t see often and it brings agriculture into town for all people. It’s usually the only time of the year people come face to face with the animals,” Obermeyer said.
The effort to keep Peru State College in Peru impacted all levels of the community, he said.
“The people became active. Area people were at the rally in Lincoln to support the college,” Obermeyer recalled.
College Students Share Thoughts About the Class
“You gave us a lot to look at. We will take your input and hopefully help come up with ideas to help improve your town,” said Amy Lostroh of Kansas City, Mo. A sophomore elementary education major, she is among 19 students in the class.
A couple of the students shared their thoughts about the class to date.
“I was hesitant when I first joined this class. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m not a big person to talk in front of groups. I have no problems talking to children but talking to adults, it’s nerve-wracking,” Lostroh said.
“Getting out of my comfort zone to help Auburn is starting to grow on me. It’s an experience. I grew up in a small town. I love the small town I grew up in. I want to help this town be one for people to come back to and raise their families,” she said.
“I really like it so far. It’s a good experience to step out of my comfort zone. I’m glad we get to work with Auburn,” said Alyssa Rodriguez of San Diego, a sophomore psychology major.
Class Entails the Spring Semester
Julie Taylor-Costello, director of the Peru State Institute of Community Engagement, is facilitating the class. The class includes sophomore, junior and senior students.
“We were ‘hired’ to help Auburn develop an identity and a logo to help spur some town pride. We will gather data from community members and volunteers in the community. There will be a presentation on Auburn’s strengths and areas its residents could capitalize on, why Auburn is successful and what its residents can be proud about,” Taylor-Costello said.
The 16-week class started Monday, Jan. 7, the start of the second semester. The class is working with representatives of The Heartland Center for Leadership and Development based in Lincoln.
“We appreciate your participation. We’re impressed with the answers you gave. We appreciate the effort the class put forth and its leadership,” Taylor-Costello told Auburn residents who attended.
She said the students will compile information presented Feb. 18, collect more data and figure out what other data was needed. A formal presentation will follow in late April or early May.