Construction starts on nursing college and student health center building in Lincoln

Construction starts on nursing college and student health center building in Lincoln

Providing even better education and training for nursing students and enhanced campus health care services for students is the cause for a new complex now under construction at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and set to open mid-2018.

The 107,000-square-foot facility will serve as home to both the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Nursing and to UNL’s student health center and is going up on UNL City Campus, along Antelope Valley Parkway near 19th and S streets. Start of construction was celebrated on Dec. 9, 2016.

The facility represents a university partnership to better serve students, open new opportunities for efficiencies and to expand nursing programs in an area critical to the health care workforce. Estimated to cost $43.8 million, it’s being funded through an allocation from the Nebraska Legislature, private donations and university funds and fees.

One half will house the new 53,000-square-foot UNMC College of Nursing facility, which will allow UNMC to attract more students to meet the state’s need for nurses.

The other half – 54,000 square feet – will replace the current health center for students at UNL with a state-of-the-art clinic with programmatic capacity to expand health-care services and to consolidate Counseling and Psychological Services into one location.

The cost of the College of Nursing portion has been estimated at $19.8 million and is funded through an appropriation from the Nebraska Legislature and private donations. The UNL Health Center portion is $24 million and is being funded through student fees.

“We in the College of Nursing are so grateful for the support from donors and the Legislature,” Sebastian said. “This will be an amazing facility that will provide the space to educate more students, attract more nursing faculty and raise the level of nursing education and research. The space will be configured to provide active learning in contemporary learning environments, and strengthen opportunities for inter-professional learning and research.

“This is what 21st-century learning and discovery are all about and we thank our partners for making this possible.”

The following individuals and organizations made donations totaling $5.5 million to the University of Nebraska Foundation in support of the nursing facility:

UNL alumni Ruth and Bill Scott of Omaha as a lead challenge gift;
UNL alumnus Del A. Lienemann Sr. of Lincoln, with the Lienemann Charitable Foundation and Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation, in memory of Charlotte Lienemann, a 1945 graduate of the College of Nursing.
UNL alumnus Duane Acklie and Phyllis Acklie of Lincoln;
UNMC College of Nursing alumna Dr. Teresa Anderson and Dr. Dennis Anderson of Omaha;
Assurity Life Insurance Company;
The estate of Sharon K. Holmberg, an alumnus of the UNMC College of Nursing.
UNMC alumnus Dr. David M. Schmidt and Marla Schmidt of Lincoln.

“It is a wise use of resources to devote one building to these two health-related uses and a smart way for our two institutions, both so important to Nebraskans, to work together to benefit our students and our state,” UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “Our new University Health Center will facilitate the highest quality of student patient care, and it represents a significant step forward in the overall student experience at Nebraska.”

Bringing the two programs together enables both institutions to enjoy savings and increase effectiveness in utilities, space and technology, Sebastian said. Since the establishment of the UNMC College of Nursing Lincoln Division in 1974, it has been in several spaces on or near City Campus. In 2005, it moved to its current leased space in downtown Lincoln.

The existing student health center at 1500 U St. was opened in 1958. The new facility will offer students a contemporary, private and easily accessible atmosphere for health care, facilitate an improved patient experience and accommodate an expected student usage increase. The center sees about 44,000 visits a year, a number estimated to reach 61,500 by 2020 based on expected enrollment growth.

The new health center also will provide medical, dental and physical therapy clinic areas designed to current standards of care, with infrastructure to house contemporary health-care technology.

Nebraska Medicine, UNMC’s primary clinical partner, manages the University Health Center in Lincoln and employs its physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other staff.

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