LINCOLN -- The NU Board of Regents on Friday unanimously approved construction of a $19 million health education facility at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
A joint effort of UNK and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the new building will expand central Nebraska's training opportunities for nurses, physician assistants and other health professionals.
Cameron Deter, a student regent who represents the UNK student body, said the new facility will be welcomed. He said 40 percent of qualified students at his school are turned away from health training programs because there aren't enough seats in area training programs. He said the shortage forces some students to change their majors and prolongs their time in school.
Construction of the new building will start by January 2014 with completion by June 2015. The Kearney facility is part of NU's "Building a Healthier Nebraska" initiative, which also includes the comprehensive cancer research and treatment center for the NU Medical Center.
The Legislature allocated $15 million to build the Kearney center. Another $4 million is to be raised privately, including a $1 million donation received in January from Good Samaritan Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives.
The regents also selected RDG Planning and Design to provide consultant services for the facility.
UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen said the facility results from a unique collaboration between his campus and the med center.
"It will change the way we do business and how we are perceived statewide," Kristensen said.