Restore the Glory
Inspired by the Past, Building for the Future
A great team of people have come together as the driving force of the Restore the Glory campaign. They are committed to the work that will bring the condition of the Field House back to a source of pride for generations to come and make it a real asset to the entire neighborhood. We are thankful for their leadership and support.
- James Goodman: President, Parishioner
- Rev. Carl J. Zoucha, Pastor, Holy Name Parish
- Colleen Peterson: Alum H77, Campaign Coordinator, Parishioner
- Tom Pogge: Alum H66, Alum and Campaign Liaison
- Bill Giles: President, Giles & Associates, LLC, Fundraising Consultant
- Downey Fitzgerald: Vice President, Parishioner
- James (Art) Mullin: Alum H54, Consultant
- Fred Bender: Alum H71, Treasurer, Parishioner
- Shawn Peterson: Alum H70, Secretary, Parishioner
- Tom LaHood: Alum H55, Parishioner
- Ken Hahn: Project Architect, Parishioner
- Cheryll Brachle: HN Ladies Confraternity Liaison, Parishioner
- Teresa Burks: Alum H72, HN Parish Council Liaison, Parishioner
- Michael Fleming: HN Men's Club Liaison
- Ms. Tanya Santos, Principal, Holy Name School, Ex-Officio
The Holy Name field house was constructed in 1949. On December 9, 1950, before a capacity crowd that included Archbishop of Omaha Gerald T. Bergan as the principal speaker and Fr. Bernard Guenther, Pastor of Holy Name Parish and School, as Master of Ceremonies, a dream was finally realized.
Holy Name High School, under legendary coach Emil “Box” Engelbretsen gave the new field house the proper dedication defeating Sioux City Heelan high 44-40. What most people don't realize is that this structure was a state of the art building unlike any other gymnasium in the State of Nebraska at the time. It stood as a beacon of modern engineering and the students and coaches from around the state were thrilled to compete within these walls.
Over many years Holy Name High School gained a reputation as one of the premier high schools in Omaha and, indeed throughout the state. The winning streaks began with Coach Englebretsen and continued with Bob Gates, Bob Harden, Frank Solich and many other great coaches. Not only did the high school draw the finest in coaching staff, the school was also producing student athletes that were unstoppable.
There are so many athletes that could be mentioned but those that stand out are the Nebraska Sports Hall of Famers, Bob Eickholt, Bob Gates, Bob Decker and Jim Decker. The teams that played together from the late 1940's formed the tradition of excellence that has carried through to today. Throughout the seventy one years that Holy Name High School existed the student athletes earned a list of accolades that were the envy of the other high schools.
To the very end the athletes competed with compassion. The 1988-89 school year, the last year the high school was open, the football team beat Cathedral High School and regained the coveted "Bucket" that resides today in the Holy Name School Archive Room.
The High School Days
During the years after the field house was completed the high school athletic programs continued to flourish. It is also important to remember that Holy Name was a Kindergarten through Twelfth grade institution. The young men and women of the high school were setting the bar for the students in the grade school. The young children also reaped the benefits of the field house as it was used daily for physical education activities. The field house is also a classroom. The grade school students watched the high school games, saw the intensity with which the older students committed themselves to the tradition of excellence that embodies the Holy Name community.
Although this culture of excellence remained the neighborhood surrounding the Holy Name Campus and indeed the entire northeast area of Omaha was changing rapidly. The talk of closing the high school began in the early 1970's. With much resolve the parish and alumni developed strategies to raise funds to keep the high school open. Even before the annual October benefit and auction began the Parish held a very large sale of various items for the general public. As the years went on a fundraising staff person was hired and the Parish sale became the Harvest Benefit Dinner and Auction.
The Parish also decided that the building could be a source of income from rentals. For many years adult basketball and volleyball teams rented the field house despite the fact that it was beginning to show its age. Despite the valiant efforts of so many who wanted the high school to remain open, the high school closed upon the commencement of the seniors in 1989.
Today and the Dream for the Twenty-First Century
During these 70 years thousands of children have learned, played and competed within the walls of the Holy Name field house. The building stands today as a testament to those who came before and their dedication to the neighborhood, the community and most importantly to the children.
Since the original construction the only improvements have been repairs that would fall into the "absolutely necessary" category. The building, while still in good condition structurally, is worn out. Demolition in the shower area was completed years ago and the vacant area is largely unused. There is no handicapped access to the building, the bathrooms are in poor condition and the gym floor is in disrepair. There is little insulation on the roof and there is no ventilation to speak of in the building. The field house needs a complete renovation to bring it to a condition suitable to serve the children of Holy Name, the neighborhood and the wider community of northeast Omaha.
The plan calls for a new gym floor that will be used for athletics and other community, school and parish activities. A serving kitchen for special events and concessions is included. New locker rooms and restroom facilities will be provided. An internal ramp will give access to the handicapped and allow carts and equipment to be brought into the building. Heating and air conditioning will be added so the building can be used year round. Existing single pane windows will be replaced with translucent insulated windows. A new roof with proper insulation will make the building environmentally sound.
The Restore the Glory campaign will bring the condition of the Fieldhouse back to a source of pride for generations to come. To match the spirit and resolve of those who came before with the forward thinking spirit of those in the neighborhood today and make it a real asset to the children and the entire neighborhood.
Phase I Renovate the Building
Talk of renovating the field house has been going on for over ten years. Today the school is financially stable and growing and the parish has become much more diverse. With this diversity and growth the resources needed also grow.
From Former Holy Name School Principal, Sofia Kock:
"When I think of Holy Name, I think of much more than just the Catholic values and sense of family it imparts on the community. The fact that our reputation as a challenging institute of learning that readies its students for high school and beyond is a nice accolade, but I still reflect on more. Instead, I think of the young men and women, the eager boys and girls, that come to class every day and allow us to experience who they are, and often times teach us more than we teach them. Every Friday during lent, I see these same students stand in line for hours on end, offering a helping hand where needed and just trying to be a part of the Holy Name family. I see hard work result in high school scholarships awarded to children who come to class every day not because they have to, but because they want to. Perhaps most rewarding is watching these children, our children, accept the values embedded in a Catholic education and allow it to influence them as a person. So when we use words like "future" or "vision," I am reminded daily that they are more than catchy campaign slogans. Instead, I see these words come to life in the classrooms, on the playground, and around the community. Supporting this campaign isn't about repairing a wall, or renovating a restroom. To me, it's about building a community centered around morals and ethics, and one our children, grandchildren, and loved ones help shape. Those are the stories I share, these are the lives that have blessed me, and this is the future we must embrace.
The field house is a classroom! The children and families we serve today need to stability and foundation that the Holy Name Community has always provided to its family. Our slogan is as true today as it was in the early 70's; YOU belong at Holy Name...
The dream for these children begins with this building. So many of you have experienced this feeling of belonging because you have been a part of "something" at Holy Name. You were a sports fan or athlete or a friend of someone at HN. You have heard the stories and now we need to give this tradition to the children of today."
From Greg Pflaum HN Alum 1954:
"When you get two Holy Namers together they never seem to run out of stories to tell." And after 13 years at Holy Name School, the last one in 1954, he's got enough material to last a few Fish Frys and weekly Wednesday gatherings of Holy Namers. His fondest ones include polishing the floors and cleaning the storm windows at the convent and rectory, the regular softball games with the priests and nuns ("you would always see one of them around"), and a rare double involving Sister Callista: being her kindergarten student and getting kicked out of her senior choir for "horsing around." Now retired President of CP Media, a film/video production company, and member of St. Robert's parish, Greg cherishes those memories on 45th Avenue, the best Capture the Flag playing field in Omaha. "There must have been 50-60 kids on that street who knew every backyard and every path through every bush. Back then the church and the school were the center of your life, and it was rare if anyone ever moved out of their neighborhood." Greg's father died when he was 10, leaving his mom, Rose, to raise Greg and his sisters in their house on that long block to the south. When Rose died in May 2002 at the age of 101, Greg warmly summarized those chapters in their lives in a recent Rambler: "It was there we learned the meaning of faith, family and friends - the church of Holy Name. The church of Holy Name casts a long shadow and we all have carried that into other parishes and generations not only here in Omaha but all over the country and world.
Plans and Renderings
Phase I Renovation & Construction
- Renovation of the Field House: $ 1,120,000
- Construction of a Community Center/Connector: $ 1,674,000
- Site Preparation & Contingency: $ 576,000
The total budget to complete Phase I is: $ 3,370,000
Phase II Implement Programming and Management
The work for this campaign has been going on for almost three years. As well as working on what the building will look like the committee has also taken into account the needs of the parish, the school children and the surrounding neighborhood. Holy Name continues its tradition of compassionate service. The Holy Name St. Vincent de Paul serves people with food and other assistance every Wednesday. The Humble Jumble store provides every day goods at very low prices to many in our neighborhood. The church has grown and become home to a very diverse community including a large Hispanic community. The merging of these diverse populations has also increased the diversity of the children in our school. Today Holy Name School serves families from many different zip codes and a majority qualify for free and/or reduced lunch. The tradition of excellence in education continues as more than 98% of the eighth grade student’s graduate high school in four years.
From the Mother of Holy Name Grade School graduates:
"The counselors and teachers at North High School know a Holy Name Grade School graduate right away."They're very impressed with their discipline, and how ready they are for high school. Dave & Teri Kozol, parents to Katie, a former freshman at North and owner of a 4.375 grade point average. When Katie attended North High they had just recently added Microsoft Power Point to their computer curriculum. Katie helped the teacher and the class because Power Point had been in Holy Name schools technology center for years. Dave, one of the nine children of Gene and Sue Kozol grew up on 38th and Spaulding and attended Holy Name School. They have two other daughters, Carolyn and Theresa Jo. The teachers at Holy Name are the best, all of them relate so well to the kids. They're creative and make sure they challenge kids with different abilities. As a result, everyone learns! That seems to be the ending to everyone's chapter when they remember their stories from Holy Name School."
The Parish is in need of space and more opportunities to raise funds. The renovated building provides for meeting rooms and other areas where people can gather for a multitude of reasons. There will be opportunities for small to medium events with a serving kitchen and storage area for event supply needs. Rental income from the facility use will be a reality once the renovation is completed.
After School Programming
One of the greatest needs for the students of Holy Name and the children of the parish and surrounding area is for a safe and nurturing space to spend their after school hours. The Restore the Glory Campaign has a donor who's greatest wish is to provide this programming for all of the children. This donor is all in for the campaign to renovate the field house and provide the resources that the children need. A gift of $1,000,000 has been pledged to meet these needs.
The Hope Center for Kids at Holy Name School
Since 2018, a pilot After School Program led by the Hope Center for Kids has seen tremendous results for up to 35 students annually. The goal is to increase the program to serve 250 students in the community using the renovated spaces.
The parents, principal and teachers all expressed positive comments about the program, and the impact it has had on the learning and behavior of the students attending. We are excited to continue growing this partnership with the future goal of serving both the Holy Name family and the surrounding community.
Hope at Holy Name Statistics 2019-2020
33 students attended the After School Hope Program. At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year nineteen students were below grade level by at least one grade. 32/33 students are now at or above grade level. As of March 2020, the thirty third student has advanced to one grade level below age versus three grade levels below age. The after school work equates to a 1.27 grade level increase per student.
Hope Center Mission Statement
- Our mission is to faithfully provide hope to children and youth in North Omaha and Fremont, through education, employability, collaboration and faith.
Our children are the world's greatest asset. We owe it to them to pass along the traditions that we learned in our youth. Carrying the tradition of athletics and education on to more and more children with this dream for the second rising of the Holy Name Alumni Field House.
Phase II Implementation and Management
In order to maintain the newly renovated building for years to come the restore the glory committee will create a reserve fund to be used for staff to book and maintain the building.
Phase II Campaign Goal
Provides continuous maintenance for the Field House and Community Center spaces and the implementation of a year-round quality Out-of-School Time (Afterschool) Program for elementary, middle, and high school students, with emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) learning opportunities.
- Programming: $ 630,000.00
- Invested Reserve Fund: $ 1,000,000.00
The total budget to complete Phase II is $ 1,630,000.00
Many thanks to our project and community partners