KEARNEY, Neb. — One of Kearney’s signature parks is now sporting a new amenity.

The city hosted an open house for Gail and Michael Yanney Pavilion at Yanney Park on Thursday. The new venue is available to rent for events and meetings. Director of Recreation Services Scott Hayden says it adds a different style of rental space to the city’s in-demand offerings. 

“This is probably a little more high-end space. It has the wraparound patio, which is unique, the overlook of the gardens," Hayden said. "The green space that’s out with the gardens comes with the rental, so you can kind of expand out into the gardens.”

The pavilion is one of the finishing touches of phase two of the gardens project at the park. The new annuals, rose and edibles gardens will be planted in the spring. The pavilion wasn’t part of the park’s original concept 25 years ago, but developed as a way to tie the gardens together.

“You’ll see a lot of glass. Definitely the overlook into the gardens is definitely something that is eye-catching," Hayden said. "We also have some great art pieces that are tied in with this building. But really, the openness of the building and overlooking the gardens was the main thing.”

Yanney Park is more than just a place for people to gather. It’s also home to world-class art. Among the pieces in the gardens is a 15-foot sculpture by Dale Chihuly. Two of the renowned artist’s sculptures are hanging from the ceiling in the pavilion and three paintings are on the wall. 

“All the art pieces that are in the gardens and in this building bring a uniqueness and a richness to it,” Hayden said.

The pavilion cost about $4 million to build and the entire two-phase gardens project was around $12 million. All features at Yanney Park were paid for by donations or grants.

The pavilion is available for rent now through Kearney Parks and Rec.