Legislature Approves $15 Million for Bruner Hall Addition

Melissa Lee
communications manager, University of Nebraska, 402.472.7127 or melissalee@nebraska.edu

The Nebraska Legislature today approved the state’s budget bills on final reading by a vote of 45-2-2. The budget now will be delivered to Gov. Dave Heineman for his consideration.

The budget package includes substantial support for three of the four projects that comprised the University of Nebraska’s Building a Healthier Nebraska initiative:

  • $15 million for a Bruner complex addition at the University of Nebraska at Kearney to house an expanded UNMC College of Nursing Kearney division and a new UNK-based UNMC School of Allied Health Professions; and
  • $50 million for a cancer research tower at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, part of a larger cancer center project that will position UNMC to earn prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center designation;
  • A commitment to pay the debt service on a $50 million bond for a new Veterinary Diagnostic Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Each of the projects also requires a commitment of private or other funds, including up to $4 million that must be raised to complete funding for the $19 million project in Kearney.

UNK’s Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Charlie Bicak said, “The expansion of UNMC nursing facilities  and the delivery  of the UNMC PT, PA, Radiography, CLS and Sonography programs on the UNK campus demonstrate an important legislative commitment to primary care delivery in central and western Nebraska. This commitment further enhances the academic and creative opportunities on our UNK campus.” Bicak continued, “The Legislature has recognized and now strongly supports the complimentary nature of world class research in cancer in UNMC and the preparation of nursing and allied health professionals by UNMC on the UNK campus. We are now positioned to address the ever increasing health care needs in central and western Nebraska. In turn, the collaborative opportunities between UNK and UNMC are also greatly enhanced.”

NU President James B. Milliken said: “I am very pleased that the state budget package approved by the Legislature today includes an important investment in Building a Healthier Nebraska. The Legislature has approved a compelling set of projects that meets critical workforce needs, creates thousands of well-paying jobs, improves health care and expands educational opportunities for young people in our state. Clearly this is a strategy that has resonated with the Legislature – as it has with the numerous individuals and groups across the state who have endorsed the initiative.

An economic impact analysis estimated that Building a Healthier Nebraska will ultimately support 4,700 jobs annually and have an economic impact of nearly $550 million per year.