UNK celebrating grand opening of Discovery Hall with Oct. 5 ribbon-cutting

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is celebrating the grand opening of Discovery Hall with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Monday (Oct. 5).

The event kicks off homecoming week on campus, and will be led by UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen, with special guest University of Nebraska President Ted Carter.

The ceremony will take place outdoors east of Discovery Hall. It will also be livestreamed at unk.edu/eventdashboard. Attendees should park in Lot 27 southeast of Discovery Hall or Lot 22 west of the Communications Center. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors, and the size of the crowd will be limited.

Face masks are required during the ribbon-cutting and tours, and participants are asked to monitor their health before attending.

Individuals can sign up for 30-minute tours of the building offered before and after the ceremony. Tour times begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Each tour starts on one of the building’s three floors, with groups rotating so they see the entire facility.

To reserve a tour spot, visit unk.edu/discovery and click the “sign up for a tour” button. Signups are required to manage the building occupancy. Participants should follow the building signs to maintain a safe traffic flow during tours.

Located north of West Center on UNK’s west campus, Discovery Hall is a 90,000-square-foot academic building that houses the university’s industrial technology, cyber systems, mathematics and statistics and physics, astronomy and engineering departments.

The building features a state-of-the-art design and open floor plan that promotes collaboration and innovation among students, staff and faculty from numerous programs. Modern classroom and lab spaces equipped with cutting-edge technology provide the hands-on, specialized training needed to prepare students for the high-skill, high-wage STEM positions in demand across the state and country.

Discovery Hall was completed this summer and classes started there Aug. 24.

Academic programs: Astronomy, aviation systems, business intelligence, computer science, construction management, cybersecurity, engineering, industrial distribution, information networking and telecommunications, information technology, interior and product design, mathematics and statistics, physics.
Construction start: May 2018
Opened: August 2020
Size: 90,000 square feet
Cost: Part of a $30 million project replacing Otto C. Olsen, which was built in 1955 and has been on the state’s capital construction replacement list for more than 20 years.
Funding: The building was paid for by renewal bonds and through state appropriation from LB957, which included the University of Nebraska Facilities Program of 2016. That appropriation directed deferred maintenance funding to facility replacement projects, including the Otto Olsen building.