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NU Board of Regents expected to approve $23.4 million upgrades of buildings at UNO and UNL

December 3, 2018

Two buildings in the University of Nebraska system, one in Omaha and one in Lincoln, are due for renovation at a cost of $23.4 million.

The NU Board of Regents is expected Tuesday to approve the upgrades of the Durham Science Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Hamilton Hall at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The regents will meet at 9:30 a.m. at Varner Hall, 3835 Holdrege St. in Lincoln.

If approved, the bulk of the $23.4 million will be directed to the Durham Science Center at UNO. The building, on UNO’s north campus, hasn’t seen considerable improvements since it was erected in 1985, said Brooke Hay, director of capital construction for the NU system.

Randall Adkins, associate dean of arts and sciences, said chemistry, physics, math, geography and geology programs are in the Durham Science Center. The center is near the northwest edge of the north campus.

Regents material indicates construction would cost $14.4 million and consulting fees, planning and equipment would cost $5.6 million. The project would be paid for with donors’ money.

Adkins said the project would upgrade mechanical, electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems. It also would improve the building’s student areas such as common spaces, study rooms, student research areas and places where students would collaborate on assignments.

The design of the project would be done next year, construction would start in 2020 and it would be completed in August 2022.

Hamilton Hall is older than Durham and some of it has already been renovated. Hay said the work is being done in phases, and the north wing of the third floor would be upgraded in this phase. Hamilton was built in 1971 and the renovation of that part of the building is overdue, she said.

Hamilton primarily houses chemistry and chemical engineering. The building is on the west side of the City Campus, south of Memorial Stadium. New lab space in Hamilton is vital to recruiting students and faculty members, Hay said.

“Many of them (the students) come from high schools with better chemistry labs” than Hamilton currently provides, she said.

Money for the project would come out of UNL’s budget.

Of the $3.4 million, construction would make up about $2.8 million, and equipment, consulting fees and other costs would make up the remainder.

Design of the project would start early next year, and construction would begin in December 2019 and be finished in August 2020.

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