New Munroe-Meyer Institute Building Creates New Opportunities

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Bella Watson
OPINION EDITOR

The new institute will continue to reflect MMI’s commitment to serving its community. Photo courtesy of Nebraska Medicine

On June 8, UNMC cut the ribbon to its newest addition: a $90 million institution that will house recreational therapy for patients with intellectual and physical disabilities. The opening of this new building means new experiences and opportunities for the participants who attend Munroe-Meyer. The building, which took a whopping 249,827 workforce hours, or the equivalent of over 28 years, houses a number of varying rooms to provide those attending with exciting experiences that teach them real life skills.

It features an indoor waterpark that consists of a splash pad and two pools, as well as a recreational art therapy studio with a kiln that allows participants to express themselves through creating art. This institution has been manufactured in a way that is designed to heighten experiences for those with disabilities and provide them with skills that many of us take for granted.

For many of us, our ability to do day-to-day activities is something that we may forget to appreciate. I know I am guilty of taking for granted the fact that every building entrance was made with my abilities in mind, and classrooms are not set in a way that hinder my learning due to things out of my control. This new Munroe-Meyer Institute building is allowing children and adults with disabilities to have that same luxury— a building made with their needs taken into consideration.

The new location has a kitchen space where staff helps the students learn to make simple meals and treats, and then is able to send them home with goodies! A garden located directly behind the building allows participants to have access to nature without needing to leave campus. The building also features multiple playgrounds and play areas, a resting room that is designed to allow families to supervise their loved ones during activities and a plethora of other rooms designed for specific disabilities.

Staff and students alike are beyond excited for this new addition.

“It makes such a difference,” said Hailey Humphrey, a staff member at MMI who has been a part of the team for four years. “Especially the pools and play areas.”

Humphrey explained that the new building has also given them the opportunity to serve a greater number of people while still adhering to current Coronavirus regulations.

“The building we were in before was really old,” Humphrey said. “The new building is all keyed access entry, even from one hallway to the next. It is very safe.”

The building is located at 6902 Pine Street, which is just outside of Aksarben and neighbors UNO’s Scott Campus. The new establishment’s purpose is not only recreational therapy. The building also includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, genetic studies, a severe behavioral therapy center and diagnostic services. This new building is going to change the lives of so many participants and will allow new participants to experience the amenities that the Munroe-Meyer Institution has to offer.

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