NorthStar Goal: Improve Graduation Rates

NorthStar Goal: Improve Graduation Rates

By Carrie Murphy. CREATED Nov 15, 2012

Omaha, NE - A group of Omaha benefactors will fund a new effort in north Omaha to help kids succeed in school. 

"This project will create significant assets to meet the needs of boys," said NorthStar Foundation President Scott Hazelrigg. "Our outcome is to dramatically increase graduation rates for young men who live and go to school in northeast Omaha."

The NorthStar Foundation broke ground Thursday on a new education and sports facility at 50th & Ames. The center will offer after-school programs, tutoring and athletics for boys.

NorthStar Board of Directors Chairman Richard Holland challenged Omaha to help educate young people, "Our country has an enormous problem of not educating about 25% of it's citizens and this is an attempt to set up an organization to develop boys of all ages. If you want to make a difference in this country, you should make some contribution to this problem, it's the most serious problem we have."  

The NorthStar project is part of a 50-million dollar re-development of the 50th and Ames area.  Wal-Mart plans to open a new store and  Heartland Family Services will redevelop the Park Crest Apartments at 48th & Sprague.  The high-rise complex was condemned by city housing inspectors after years of code violations. Omaha City Council member Ben Gray called the NorthStar project a game-changer.

Construction on the NorthStar project is expected to be completed in about sixteen months.