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UNK to show ‘STEM’ building plans for first time Monday

UNK to show ‘STEM’ building plans for first time Monday
Courtesy/ University of Nebraska-Kearney. Partial rendering of proposed UNK Stem Building.

KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney and community members will get a first glimpse Monday of the new $30 million “STEM” building and its location on west campus.

Everyone is welcome to a 90-minute open house starting at 1 p.m., ending with a 2:30 news conference. The event will be in West Center Atrium.

Final plans for the 80,000-square-foot building have been in the works since January 2017 and are nearly ready for bid, said Alan Wedige, UNK architect. He called the building “dynamic.”

“This is an exciting building with collaborative space, blended space and shared space. It will definitely be a building buzzing with activity,” Wedige said.

The building will further synergies between programs from UNK colleges, enhance community engagement, exemplify a cohesive learning environment based on real-world applications and provide optimum space for outstanding instruction and undergraduate research opportunities. Further, it will be a facility that allows for future growth and adaptability, allowing for flexible uses.

The academic building is the first such new structure since the addition of the Health Science Education Complex in 2015 and replaces the 1955 Otto Olsen building, which has been on the state’s capital construction replacement list for at least 20 years. It is paid for by renewal bonds and its focus will be science, technology, engineering and math disciplines in a true “interprofessional” environment.

There is no formal program or presentation during the open house. Campus community members and guests can look at the latest drawings and visit with administration and building planners prior to a brief 2:30 p.m. presentation.

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