KEARNEY, Neb. — The University of Nebraska at Kearney is breaking ground one shovel at a time.

Construction for the new STEM building has begun and soon UNK will have one building to bring four departments together.

The 80,000-square foot building will be between the Ockinga Seminar Center and the West Center buildings.

Chancellor Doug Kristensen said this is the first building of all university of Nebraska Colleges, to be funded by LB957.

“UNK has always been a driver of this region for discovering, for teaching, for access to higher education for central Nebraska and western Nebraska and that’s who’s gonna benefit here,” said Kristensen.

This building will bring together the science, technology, engineering and mathematics departments, which the Dean of Business and Technology, said are the highest demand programs on campus.

“We’ll meet the workforce needs in our area for decades to come. We expect the building to attract more students to come to UNK, to attract more employers to come and support us and hire our students for internships and ultimately careers,” said Tim Burkink.

Having a supportive environment is exactly what Burkink said this building will bring, especially since his business technology department is a quarter mile from the new site.

“It’s going to facilitate collaboration, it’s going to facilitate program development, it’s gonna facilitate students working with other students in other disciplines, it’s gonna be fantastic for the college of business and technology,” said Burkink.

Now the new building will be used as a replacement of the Otto–Olson building, which Chancellor Kristensen said they will keep up until around 2020, while the new STEM building will be up and running by Fall 2019.

Original Article
Sydney Edwards