Two Impressive Groundbreakings for UNK


Not one, but two groundbreakings took place on the University of Nebraska-Kearney campus on Tuesday afternoon.

"I think this is just another sign of tremendous momentum at the University of Nebraska at Kearney," said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen.

The main project is the Wellness Center just east of Cushing Coliseum. It's 19,000-square feet and will hold new exercise equipment as well as giving students new research opportunities.

"Students are interested in wellness and that is the big change in the last few years. They're interested in recruiting themselves, and you add our academic component of the human performance lab on the second floor -- this is a great opportunity for our students," said Kristensen.

"To try and get students to work out more and take advantage of those things. You have to have a gym to meet that heavy demand, and this wellness center will seek to do that," said UNK student president Moses Moxey.

The Wellness Center will include programming for UNK employee health and wellness, community outreach, and public health research at UNK's Physical Activity and Wellness Lab.

"It's going to give them an identifiable space, state-of-the-art aerobic opportunities. It's going to have a climbing wall, open space for people to practice cheer, dance and all these sorts of programs that we have, but really there's not a place for them on campus right now," said Kristensen.

The project will also include the renovation of some 4,000 net square feet of student recreation and classroom space in Cushing.

The project is expected to be completed by May 2014 and will cost the university around $6.5 million.

The other project to be completed is the resident hall renovations. Randall and Mantor Halls will now be able to provide students with lobby space, mailboxes and elevator access.

"This will provide a new entrance. It's attractive, it will book-end the Wellness Center. It will provide a pedestrian walking area for students," said Kristensen.

"It will be a place where folks or students can gather and meet each other," said UNK Director of Resident Life Tony Earls.

This facility will cost $1.3 million and is expected to be completed by January 2014.

And UNK students are thrilled about the new and exciting opportunities the future holds.

"I'm most excited about being here to witness it," said Moxey.