Former Norfolk Livestock Sales property eyed as home to new inclusive entertainment center – Norfolk Daily News

by | Jul 25, 2022 | Entertainment

The vision of creating a family entertainment center in Norfolk has taken a big step toward becoming reality.Americarts announced Monday that it had a signed purchase agreement in place with the current owners of Norfolk Livestock Sales, located at 1601 S. First St., and is launching a $2 million capital campaign called Americarts Founder’s Circle to secure the 32-acre area.“We know it’s going to happen. I know it sounds like, ‘How? This is a lot?’ It is a lot, but we are beyond invested,” said Stephanie Goodrich, director of inclusive workforce and communities with Americarts.Plans call for a 120,000-square-foot family entertainment center to be built on the property. Goodrich said they would like to be able to save the front of the current building and repurpose the old cafe if possible. But if all goes as planned, demolition and site-prep work on the sales barn property will start this fall with construction of the new building beginning in the spring of 2023.Goodrich is working with business partner and former Madison resident Robert Johnson to bring the center to fruition.Goodrich, who has a doctorate in special education and education administration, said her passion is for educational programming, inclusion and accessibility for people who experience disabilities. She met Johnson, who has an autistic son, in 2016 while working in a leadership position with young adults with disabilities for Omaha Public Schools.

Johnson, Goodrich said, is a big fan of racing and family entertainment centers and has visited several throughout the country. “His favorite was this brand called Andretti’s,” Goodrich said, referencing Andretti Indoor Karting and Games.Afte …

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