LINCOLN — The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Business Administration will get a new, $84 million home under a building proposal approved Friday by the Board of Regents.
The 240,000-square-foot building, to be completed by 2016, will more than double the size of the college's current quarters.
The building will be financed entirely through private donors, said Donde Plowman, the college's dean.
However, the funds have yet to be raised, she added.
“That's a huge number, $84 million,” said Regent Bob Whitehouse of Papillion.
Plowman said the building is needed to keep the UNL business college competitive with counterparts in the Big Ten.
“Building a state-of-the-art facility will help us attract world-class faculty and students and will help us establish a major footprint in the Big Ten — home of some of the best public business schools in the world,” she said.
Though UNL overall experienced a 1.6 percent decline in enrollment this year, the business college saw an increase, including a 25.4 percent increase in the number of first-time freshmen.
The college's enrollment is expected to grow by nearly 50 percent, to 5,000 students, in coming years in conjunction with Chancellor Harvey Perlman's goal to bring the total UNL enrollment to 30,000 — a 20 percent increase — by 2017.
This fall, the business college began offering a minor in business available to any nonbusiness students.
Regent Tim Clare of Lincoln, an alumnus of the college, said he enthusiastically supported the building plan. He noted that the business college has not undergone significant renovation since 1993.
The new building will be located on green space at 14th and Vine Streets. The existing building, one of the oldest on campus, would be retained for use by other academic programs seeking more space, Plowman said.
In other business, the regents tabled a proposal to contract with a private developer to build private housing atop a parking garage to be built at 18th and R Streets. Several regents expressed concern about UNL ceding control over its property to a private business.
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