Investing in Nebraska’s future

Positioning Nebraska for the future – in research, student learning and outreach – is at the heart of several current and recently completed capital improvements. These major projects expand the university’s capabilities in engineering, animal agriculture and journalism and mass communications.

College of Engineering

The construction of Kiewit Hall is nearly complete.

Kiewit Hall, the new center for undergraduate engineering education, slated to open in January 2024, will help the university meet growing workforce needs statewide.

It is part of a transformation of College of Engineering facilities that will expand its educational and research capabilities. The $115 million building is part of a $190 million investment, which represents the largest facilities project in university history.

This 182,080-square-foot building features state-of-the-art learning and workspaces, capstone design and student organization project spaces, and a new home for the Lincoln-based construction management program.

Kiewit Hall will be the first engineering college facility nationally to be WELL Silver and LEED Gold certified, meeting strict standards for energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor air quality. The project began with a $25 million gift from Kiewit Corp. and generous support from private and corporate donations.

Progress on the college’s other multiphase facilities projects includes comprehensive renovations to Scott Engineering Center, to be completed by May 2024, and the new Engineering Research Center, which opened in 2022. These areas offer new office space, state-of-the-art laboratories and a high bay for research and testing. 

Feedlot Innovation Center

The Klosterman Feedlot Innovation Center will expand research, teaching and extension opportunities in a commercial-scale feedlot featuring the latest technology.

The $7.2 million facility, at the university’s Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center near Mead, Nebraska, is set for completion in late 2023. It is funded through a combination of private giving, grants, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources program funds.

Current university feedlot facilities are relatively small, scaled for research, said Doug Zalesky, director of the Eastern Nebraska center. The new facility “is scaled to be more representative of a commercial feedlot.”

Innovation Center rendering

The center is named for longtime university supporters John and Beth Klosterman. It will include a feedlot technology facility, named for longtime university researcher Terry Klopfenstein, where researchers can tailor feed to individual animals to gauge their responses.

The complex will also feature cattle comfort and research buildings, innovative open lots and an animal handling facility. It will include commercial-scale open air and covered pens. A new cattle handling facility and classroom will give students experience and enable training of Nebraska’s beef industry workforce. The center will also provide a testbed where industry partners can see how new and emerging technologies work.

Don and Lorena Meier Studio

Students produce the Nebraska Nightly telecast in the new Don and Lorena Meier Studio.

College of Journalism and Mass Communications students are gaining firsthand experience in professional television and video production in the new Don and Lorena Meier Studio.

Opened in November 2022 in Andersen Hall, the studio offers a professional environment for students. It features three sets – anchor desk, interview set and green screen – plus a production studio with state-of-the-art equipment to support student news reporting and media creation.

It’s home to broadcasting classes and experience labs that let students create professional content. The television studio “gives students the chance to learn, experiment and build a portfolio of their work with the latest broadcast production technology,” said Shari Veil, COJMC dean.

In addition to the Meiers’ Chicago-based foundation, the Nebraska Broadcasters Association supported construction of the studio.