Sending a strong message of support to the nearly 9,000 students enrolled at Chadron, Peru and Wayne State Colleges, Governor Dave Heineman signed two budget bills yesterday. The Governor’s support of these legislative bills demonstrates that he and the Legislature are looking to the future of the Nebraska State College System by providing much needed funding for current capital construction projects at Chadron and Peru State Colleges. The $6.7 million in LB 968 targeted for Chadron’s renovation of the Armstrong Building will go a long way in improving a much used building that is in great need of repair. Not only does the Armstrong Building host athletic and non-athletic events for the college, the building is home to numerous activities for area high schools and the Chadron community. LB 968 also provides $7.5 million to ensure that Peru State can continue a heritage of hosting football games in the historic Oak Bowl while adding new recreational and intercollegiate programs to benefit students and student athletes. For Chadron and Peru alike, the facilities identified for improvements serve the local communities and the regions in which they both reside.
LB 969 creates the NSCS Sports Facilities Cash Fund which provides a mechanism to fund improvements to recreational and athletic facilities at the NSCS State Colleges in an on-going manner. The legislation sets aside $250,000 dollars annually through 2014, at which time, the fund will increase to a $400,000 annual contribution.
College personnel have long known that prospective students visiting colleges are interested in classroom space, athletic and recreational facilities and the general look and feel of the campus. With funding from LB 968 and 969, prospective and current students will have access to facilities that are up-to-date, meeting all access and safety requirements.
NSCS Chancellor Stan Carpenter said, “We appreciate the Legislature for recognizing the importance of what we do for Nebraska. Thanks specifically to Senator Lavon Heidemann and Senator John Harms for listening to our needs and supporting both LB 968 and LB 969. It is an exciting time for our students, our colleges, and the communities we serve.”
—Korinne Tande, Nebraska State College System