Community Center – Dunning NE

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At an election in February 1937, the voters were given the task to decide whether or not Dunning would have a new community building. The vote was three to one in favor of building the auditorium. The building would be built in the city park. The $14,000.00 building would be completely equipped “for any high class entertainment.”

In March 1938, word was received from Washington D.C. that the Dunning Community Building project had been approved. Although funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) had not yet been appropriated, the project would go forward. It was thought that, as drawn, the plans for the building would cost approximately $14,000.00. In February 1937, an election was held that allowed the community to vote on the question of an ordinance that would allow Dunning to issue municipal auditorium bonds in the amount of $7,700.00 to pay for the community’s portion of the cost, both for construction and obtaining the site for the building. In June 1938, the Village Board began issuing the bonds.

Two weeks later, the paper reported that the construction of the building was well underway. The building would measure 96 by 50 feet, and its construction would employ between 15 and 20 laborers for the next several months. This, however, is essentially the last mention of the construction of the building in the newspaper. In fact, there was no mention of a dedication when the auditorium was completed. This is, perhaps, attributable to the partisan nature of the newspaper, which often spoke out against Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal programs. While a community may take advantage of them in order to improve employment locally and fund buildings that otherwise might not be constructed, it would go against the grain and be a complete reversal to then praise the program that it once spoke out against so heartily, and may explain the paper’s reticence.

Source notes

Custer County Chief, 25 February 1937.
Blaine County Booster, 10 March 1938.
Blaine County Booster, 16 June 1938.  
Blaine County Booster, 30 June 1938.

Project originally submitted by Jill Dolberg on July 13, 2015.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Dunning, Nebraska 68833

Location notes: Southeast corner of Bridge and Jewett Streets in Dunning, NE

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