UNK welcomes community to ‘Come On In’

Contact: Kelly Bartling, 308-865-8455, bartlingkh@unk.edu

What: Open house on newer residence projects at UNK
When: 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31
Where: Centennial Towers West, Men’s Hall, Nester Hall, UNK Campus
Editor’s note: There is no formal program planned, but Facilities and Housing directors and staff will be available specifically for media questions at 4:30 p.m. in the large meeting room in CTW, first floor, west side.

KEARNEY – After a year-long renovation at one of University of Nebraska at Kearney’s “twin towers,” the public is welcome for a sneak peak to see the updated and newly restored seven-story Centennial Towers West. UNK will open CTW’s doors 4:30 to 7 p.m. on July 31 for self-tours. All are welcome.

Additionally, doors to Nester Hall and historic Men’s Hall will be open for those who want to tour the renovated National Register art-deco Men’s Hall, and the new Nester-Antelope Hall complex and University View.

West and East Towers were constructed in 1967 and 1968, with their names noting Nebraska’s state centennial. Each tower has seven floors and holds 383 residents in a configuration unique for its time – suites. Two-person rooms are on either side of a full bathroom. When opened, the towers were women’s halls, later becoming co-ed.

The $6 million renovation project improved safety and comfort in CTW with upgraded state-of-the-art fire alarm systems with voice notification, fire sprinklers and additional secure entry doors. A new air handling system and heating/ventilation system improves airflow and exhaust, improving comfort in the building and reducing energy requirements with energy recovery units.

CTW’s aesthetic renovations include new carpet and paint, new lighting and floor tile. Several additional accessible rooms were added as was an accessible “family” restroom.

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New wiring and cabling improves the information technology in the building, and study lounges and computer areas were improved, even adding a furnished study area to the laundry room so students can study while they watch their laundry. All lounge areas were renovated.

East Towers was closed at the end of May for its turn in the two-part renovation project. It will reopen, similar to West Towers, in fall 2014. Its renovation mirrors West’s.

“We know alumni and others from the community are interested to see what the new, improved residence hall looks like, maybe go reminisce about their time there,” said Joseph Oravecz, dean for the Division of Student Affairs. “This is your chance, before the rooms start filling with new and returning students in a few weeks. Everyone is welcome to come on in.”

Oravecz said similarly, visitors on campus might want a peek at the Nester Hall, opened in 2008, and Men’s Hall, renovated in 2010. With its beautiful art deco design, Men’s Hall was built as a WPA project in the late Depression as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Men’s Hall houses students in the Honors Program (both men and women). The Antelope/Nester Complex consists of two new housing units along Ninth Avenue that are joined by a walk-through breezeway known as University View, which also serves as a lounge, study area and meeting room. These suite-style rooms are the newest on campus and house 160 students in two- and four-person suites with kitchenettes.

Maps will be available at all three buildings, and staff and students have volunteered to help during this open house.