The three-story dorms would be paid for through revenue bond issues backed by dorm and book store revenue and student fees.
Bob Morgan, the Beatrice campus president, says Hoover Hall will be demolished to make way for the new dorm as well as a new dining hall nearby.
“We’re looking at two buildings that will really give us a residential hall,” Morgan says. “It’ll be very nice, it’ll be very modern. It will also incorporate what we saw as far as current trends of what students really are looking for.”
Hoover Hall has space for 70 students. The new building will house more than 150 students. On the Milford campus, Nebraska and Cornhusker Halls would no longer be used and a new dorm — also housing around 150 students — would be built.
“You look at our dorm situation right now, everything is paid for,” Morgan says. “We don’t have any bond debt on any of the housing in Milford or Beatrice, so when you have 241 beds that are debt-free, it helps us as we look for how to pay for the 152 beds as we put up a new facility.”
Southeast is also planning campus improvements at all three of its campuses — in Beatrice, Milford and Lincoln.
Scott Keene, a vice president at Ameritas, says community colleges in Nebraska are allowed to levy up to two-cents per hundred-dollars property valuation for capital projects.
“Interest rates are still very favorable. We never know how long that will last but at this point, it’s still a very good time to borrow,” Keene says. “The last time I prepared numbers and met with you was in April and interest rates are actually lower now than they were back in April.”
The plan comes after voters rejected a $369-million bond issue that would have paid for the projects. The plan now is to use the college’s capital improvements levy.
The expansion projects include a new classroom building on the Beatrice campus, an expanded Diesel Technology facility at Milford, and a new Health Sciences Building at Lincoln.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice