As the demand for skilled workers continues and the careers of tomorrow evolve, one thing remains constant—education will need to keep pace with changing environments.
Southeast Community College marked a key milestone in its construction of its new health sciences building with a topping -off ceremony on September 13. The $25 million building will consist of 14 state-of-the-art health science labs, eight classrooms, multiple collaboration spaces and more, totaling just under 82,000 square feet on the east Lincoln campus.
“The building will better prepare our students for their future workplace,” according to Jill Sand, Health Sciences Dean at SCC. “This building will have an enormous impact on the SCC community and our 15-county service area by increasing the capacity to provide quality, highly-skilled professionals in careers where there are currently shortages.”
With the first phase of the building process complete, the topping-off ceremony saw the last steel beam placed on top of the four-story building. The first phase of the construction project began in February 2019 and will be one of three projects planned for SCC’s three campuses in Beatrice and Milford.
Ultimately, the building is set to be completed in late 2020 and would continue to enhance the offerings of the 16 health science programs offered through SCC.
Three days later on September 16, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced plans for a substantial investment and project to expand Nebraska engineering education.
Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. will contribute $20 million to an estimated $85 million engineering facility. It would be built on the northeast side of 17th and Vine streets, east of Othmer Hall on land donated by Jim and Mary Abel. The $85 million Kiewit Hall is set to be completed by 2023, with the goal of boosting UNL’s enrollment in the College of Engineering and to better compete with other engineering programs in the Big Ten and across the region.
“The college is extremely grateful to Kiewit for this generous gift and continued partnership as we make critical investments to provide Nebraskans with world-class construction, computing and engineering education and research,” says Lance C. Pérez, UNL College of Engineering Dean.
Other major donors to the project include Robert and Joell Brightfelt; Hausmann Construction; Rick and Carol McNeel; Dan and Angie Muhleisen; Olsson; Union Pacific Foundation; and Don Voelte and Nancy Keegan.
“We are truly gratified for the support from the state of Nebraska, the business community and others,” Pérez added at the September 16 press conference.
With the announcement of Kiewit Hall and the surrounding upgrades of existing buildings in the engineering complex and the first phase, which was approved in 2016, the total investment into UNL’s engineering facilities is set to approach $150 million.
The expansion projects at SCC and UNL represent how local education is not only looking at meeting the needs of tomorrow’s workforce, but also how to prepare workers for jobs that are needed right here in Nebraska. Their continued investment in Lincoln and Nebraska is one that will contribute to Lincoln’s economy and pay dividends for years to come in many different areas.