By TYLER ELLYSON
KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is planning a major renovation of Warner Hall that will improve the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, increase energy efficiency and extend the building’s useful life.
Approved last week by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, the project is part of a state-university partnership that addresses deferred maintenance needs across the NU system.
The Warner Hall improvements will focus on the HVAC and other mechanical systems, as well as roof, window and door replacement.
“This is going to be a significant renovation project in Warner Hall. It’s going to touch almost every space in that building,” said Michael Cremers, interim director of UNK Facilities Management and Planning.
The new HVAC system will provide better temperature control throughout the building, making the space more comfortable for occupants and visitors. Doors and windows will be updated with insulated glass, which helps reduce heat loss during the winter.
The project, which has an estimated price tag of $5.1 million, will result in significant energy savings.
Construction is expected to start in summer 2022, with a completion date yet to be determined.
Because the renovation will impact the entire building, UNK will coordinate with the contractor to develop a schedule that includes as little disruption as possible. The work is likely to be completed in phases, and there will be times when employees are asked to work remotely or from alternate areas.
“All of those details will be discussed and communicated as we start to plan for this project,” Cremers said.
Located along Ninth Avenue on the east edge of campus, Warner Hall serves as the university’s administrative hub. It houses offices for the chancellor and vice chancellors, registrar, business services, finance, human resources, information technology services, residence life, graduate studies, research and the Honors Program. The Department of Social Work is also located there.
Dedicated in 1978, when it was known as Founders Hall, the building was renamed in 2017 to honor Charles J. Warner and his son Jerome Warner, two prominent former state senators who played a significant role in UNK’s history.
The renovation will be funded by bonds issued through LB384. That bill, approved earlier this year, extends through 2062 a state-university partnership that allows NU to complete a variety of building renewal and repair projects while saving taxpayers approximately $1.5 billion over the next 40 years.