Early Childhood Education Center unveiled


Chancellor Doug Christensen and donor LaVonne Plambeck among others participating in the ribbon cutting ceremoney for the new Early Childhood Center. Photo by Kosuke Yoshii

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UNK celebrated the opening of the new Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center east of the Village Flats on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 3:00 with a ribbon-cutting event. A large, smartly dressed crowd attended the windy event in the parking lot outside the front doors, southwest of the UNK campus on Highway 30. The facility officially opens on Nov. 4.

Speakers such as Chancellor Doug Christensen, Interim President Susan Fritz and donor LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck attended the event. The center cost $7.8 million to build and contains 11 classrooms, which were seen by the public for the first time during guided tours on Tuesday. Up to 180 children can be taught in the center; ages ranging from infancy to six are to be taught there. 

The Plambeck Center is meant to serve the children and families of Kearney. The center will create new jobs for the community and opportunities for UNK students. UNMC students are meant to be trained there. 

“People have been able to see this project and the momentum it has given this campus. [This center is] going to be the model for other centers for children’s education. There is no place like this in the state,” Chancellor Doug Christensen said.

Chancellor Christensen was eager for the public to see the Plambeck Center’s interior and was very proud of the accomplishments that the builders and designers completed. The Plambeck Center is the first academic building at the new University Village, which currently includes the Village Flats.