New dorms: UNO building more digs to lure students

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PHOTO BY SHANNON SMITH/THE GATEWAY
PHOTO BY SHANNON SMITH/THE GATEWAY

By Ben Nelson
Contributor

In another show of growth and progress, brand new dorm construction is underway on University of Nebraska at Omaha’s south campus.

Planning of new dormitories was addressed in the 2014 master housing plan, which can be found on the university website. To reach the UNO goal of 20,000 students by 2020, building the additional housing will aid in providing housing for all interested students.

The new dorms are going up on a former parking lot directly across 67th street from Mammel Hall, neighboring Scott Residence Hall to the east.

This dorm will be able to accommodate at least 350 beds. The capacity may achieve up to 450 beds according to an article written by the Omaha World Herald’s Kate Howard.

William Pickett, Senior Director for Student Involvement, was part of the team that developed the housing plan back in 2014.

In addition to the new dorms, there will be a parking garage built on south campus.

“One of the first things we looked at was parking,” Pickett said.

Parking is one of the major complaints for many students and faculty. When the new garage goes up, more than 1,000 parking stalls will be added to south campus.

Picket said more than 200 students were still on the waiting list to get into campus housing this year. This forced those students to either find housing in town, or explore options at different institutions.

“We currently have 2,100 beds available and we are trying to get to a goal of 3,000.” Pickett said.

According to the Nebraska Board of Regents minutes, the board decided earlier this year to “Authorize the President, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Board, to approve a ground lease with the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation to provide 300 beds of student housing and 20,000 square feet of academic and programmatic space on the University of Nebraska at Omaha Pacific Campus.”

There is still work to be done by 2020, and UNO in conjunction with Tetrad Property Group and the Scott Foundation, who have lead many construction projects on campus, will not be stopping soon.

As part of the the 2014 housing plan, a design team explored space between Caniglia field and the east parking garage was explored as a possible site for housing.

Some of the features of this concept according to the report would be that it “provides two buildings connected by an elevated courtyard with an outdoor gathering space that also functions as a spectator overlook for soccer competition.”

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