For a college that prepares students to design and build, the facilities that house the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Engineering are uninviting.
But the College of Engineering is likely soon to receive approval for $75.5 million worth of building improvements.
The NU Board of Regents on Friday will consider an early plan for that project. The regents also are expected to approve a two-year budget for the university system for 2019-21.
Lance Pérez, dean of engineering at UNL, said his college wants to be competitive regionally and nationally, and that includes having good facilities.
“It’s very important to the College of Engineering and to the state,” Pérez said Saturday. He said the engineering college plays a key role in economic development in Nebraska.
“I think that this is a critical juncture for the College of Engineering,” he said. For the state to invest this way in the college is a testament to Nebraska’s commitment to higher education, he said.
The project would be paid for with $70 million in state funds appropriated two years ago, and $5.5 million in private money. Construction would start in June 2019 and conclude in September 2022.
The regents will meet at 1 p.m. at Varner Hall, 3835 Holdrege St. in Lincoln. They oversee two universities in Omaha, one each in Lincoln and Kearney, and the two-year Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.