WNCC construction project remains on time, on budget
SCOTTSBLUFF — Construction continues at Western Nebraska Community College on the new student center and theater building. Samson Construction workers are finalizing renovations to the steel structure of the building.
With the project remaining on time and on budget, the public can expect to see the south side of the building transform. Samson Construction Superintendent Brian Anderson said the curtain wall frame will be installed and workers will start the process of installing glass for the new student commons area early next week.
“By the end of the month, the outside is really going to start to look finished,” Anderson said.
Throughout the building, workers are finishing up stages of the project from the installation of pipes and electrical to securing drywall and painting.
Two previously exposed breezeways, on the north and south sides of the theater, have been fully enclosed to expand the space. As people enter through the north entrance of the theater, they will see a sunken garden along with new sidewalks. WNCC President Todd Holcomb said the theater seats were ordered in December and the plan is to install them in May. They also placed an order for signage throughout the building, which cost $135,000. The seats had to be ordered six months early and the signage was ordered five months early.
The new layout of the theater will not have the seats wrap around the side of the stage as it previously did, which Anderson said will mean there won’t be a bad seat in the house. At the back of the theater, construction workers are building a steel structure to house the controls for the lights and displays.
The theater space is the main focus for the construction team since this space will be the first area returned to the college. The library space and administration building will be turned over shortly after. With the progress continuing in the library, Holcomb is excited about the image the front area will portray for the college and how the project is turning out how he envisioned.
“When we first started looking at the design of this, some of the people wanted to just renovate the current space,” he said. “But, I said we had to show something new, something dramatic. Something that captured people’s attention and showed that the college is completely renovated and ready to go for the next century. The front facade and all the glass that is going to be there is something I’m really excited about.”
Around the corner, band students will have access to a large band room. Workers are installing plumbing and then will continue with the HVAC unit and electrical. On the other side of the south band room wall will be the chorus room. Both spaces have 20-foot ceilings and will have the capability to pipe music into the stage.
In the career services area, Anderson said they have one more finish coat of sheet rock that has to go up before they can start painting. The athlete services area is also in the same stage.
While the crew is staying on schedule, Anderson said there has been a challenge with the transition from the current fire alarm control system and the new one.
“These wires behind you, those go to the existing fire alarm control, which has been in the building and we’ve kept them active throughout the process to keep everybody safe,” Anderson said. “That’s been one of our bigger challenges.”
Ahead of the project completion, Holcomb said the college is updating the carpet in The Pit to make the renovation look more seamless once the two spaces are connected. He also said they are also reducing the amount of equipment in preparation to move into the space.
“The changes are dramatic,” Holcomb said. “I think our students and constituents in the Panhandle are really going to enjoy this facility and everything it has to offer.”
The anticipated completion date for the project is July 2019.