University of Nebraska-Kearney officials hold two groundbreaking ceremonies today even as the campus recovers from a damaging storm three weeks ago.
UNK spokeswoman Kelly Bartling says the groundbreaking of the $6.5 million Wellness Center has attracted a lot of attention from both current and prospective students. Bartling explains that students are very interested in the recreation centers universities offer and the new one on the Kearney campus is attracting a lot of attention.
Nearby, a new entryway for Randall and Mantor Halls will be constructed.
Back-to-back groundbreakings begin at 3 o’clock this afternoon on the Kearney campus.
The Wellness Center is 19,000 square feet. It will house a fitness center and public health research facility for the Physical Activity and Wellness Lab.
The second groundbreaking takes place across the street.
Meanwhile, construction continues to repair damage done by the early April storm that tore through western Nebraska. High winds ripped off portions of the Calvin T. Ryan Library roof. They also damaged the Fine Arts Building.
The rip in the roof exposed book shelves to the elements. The storm damaged more than 6,000 books.
Special care is being taken to preserve the books, which includes refrigerating them.
“We’re confident that we’re going to be able to save those books,” University of Nebraska-Kearney spokeswoman Kelly Bartling tells Nebraska Radio Network. “The specialist will assess and make sure that there isn’t any mold growing on the books. That’s why you refrigerate them. It dries and preserves the books.”
The damage was extensive.
“That was quite a wind and I suppose we’re lucky that it wasn’t worse than it was,” Bartling says.
Bartling says insurance has covered the damage. She expects repairs to be completed by this summer.