The ongoing construction project of Union 73, Northeast Community College’s student center expansion, will include multiple improved campus amenities.
During the college’s board of governors meeting, Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services, provided an update on the progress of Union 73.
“Most recently, it has started to become enclosed, and there is a definite expanse to the new addition,” Nipp said. “... We envision this to be a space for students to see others and be seen. We want to provide them a space they can get together on campus.”
The college has been constructing the student center expansion since the spring of 2019. It will include a variety of new and improved amenities and services at the price of about $22.5 million for the entire project, said Jim Curry, Northeast director of public relations.
The two-level building will have a coffee shop, academic support, student services and multiple study and lounge spaces. Some tables will have built-in desktops for students to use, and the college will be expanding the current center’s gaming room.
Union 73 also will have student meeting rooms and classrooms, a mailroom, bookstore, health and counseling center, leadership office and restaurant, among other amenities.
Nipp said she is especially excited for the student health and counseling center, which is a new feature that combines services the college offers now into one streamlined area.
In the old health area, the college nurse’s office doesn’t have a sink and students have to wait out in the open before they are helped. In the new center, students have the option to enter through a more discreet entrance and the nurse has an updated work area.
“It is so frequently that (student health and counseling) are calling one another to help, there’s a lot of collaboration and this (space) will help with that,” Nipp said.
Steve Anderson, the Northeast board of governors chairman, said Union 73 would help the institution continue to become one of the best community college campuses in the state. Northeast stands out because of its dormitories, food service and now an expansive student center, he said.
“As a marketing tool, this is a tremendous campus,” he said.
The project was supposed to be done this summer, according to a previous Daily News article. But the construction was delayed because of weather last year.
Union 73’s expected completion date is on track tentatively for spring 2021, Nipp said.
“We want this to be a beacon for students, a place for them to go,” Nipp said. “We talk about this student center being the ‘living room’ of campus ... they will have a kind of home base.”
The Northeast Community College Board of Governors met Tuesday afternoon.
Members present: Donovan Ellis, Del Ames, Nicole Sedlacek, Carol Sibbel, Steve Anderson, Arlan Kuehn, Gene Willers, Terry Nelson, Julie Robinson, Dirk Petersen and Jeff Scherer.
Others in attendance: Four members of the public, one reporter and the president’s staff.
Meeting lasted: 51 minutes.
Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services, provided an update on the college’s student center expansion project, Union 73.
Approved financial reports and claims.
Reviewed the president’s report, Student Leadership Association report and Nebraska Community College Association (NCCA) report.