The first shovels of dirt were turned over Tuesday, June 5, symbolically kicking off the construction of a new residence hall and dining facility on the Beatrice Campus of Southeast Community College.
Close to 100 people turned out for the groundbreaking ceremony.
"This is an extremely exciting time for Southeast Community College," said Dr. Paul Illich, president. "This project is all about building capacity for a skilled workforce in Nebraska."
Construction on the nearly $8 million dormitory and $3 dining facility will begin immediately. Sampson Construction of Lincoln and Caspers Construction of Beatrice will supervise the work under the construction manager-at-risk method. Both projects are scheduled to be completed by August 2019, in time for SCC's first fall semester.
Bob Morgan, SCC's vice president for program development and Beatrice Campus director, said he is "looking forward to a rebuilt campus over the next few years." The College also plans to build a general classroom building at Beatrice.
Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth said the new residence hall will "enhance the livability of this campus."
"I'd like to thank the (SCC) Board of Governors for its vision, and I'm happy that a local contractor will be involved in the construction," Wirth said.
Other speakers were Walker Zulkoski, executive director of NGage; Angie Bruna, executive director of the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce; Deanne Caspers-Moon, project manager for Caspers Construction; and Ben Huck, vice president of Sampson Construction.
The new residence hall will be built on the site of the existing tennis court. Morgan said the College will be transplanting as many trees as possible to make way for the construction.
The three-story residence hall will have 54,268 square feet and 152 beds, including 25 apartments with four single beds, 11 apartments with two bedrooms with two beds each, and one apartment with a single bedroom with two beds. It also will have two ADA rooms, each with a double bed.
The new residence hall will replace Hoover Hall and bring total on-campus occupancy to 394 students, 87 more than its current capacity.
The dining facility will be approximately 14,000 square feet and seat between 250 and 300 students. It will include a meeting room and back of the house line. The building is still in the design stage.
The Clark Enersen Partners of Lincoln, the company that wrote SCC's Facilities Master Plan, is designing the projects. Project Control, also of Lincoln, has provided construction project management services.