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The Antelope

Discovery hall open to all students for classes

Many UNK officials were in attendance and participated during the grand opening of Discovery Hall.

While Discovery Hall has been in use throughout this semester, its opening was finally made official on Monday. This newly finished building is serving as an excellent addition to  UNK.  

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by Chancellor Doug Kristensen. 

“This building will change Nebraska, but this building is gonna definitely change UNK,” Kristensen said. “And it’s gonna provide new opportunities for students that we never dreamed of before.” 

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter spoke next.  

“This is a day that marks a revolution in higher education,” President Carter said. “This building is the future of higher education. It’s not just experiential; it’s immersive, it’s interactive.” 

Other speakers included former Nebraska State Legislature senator Galen Hadley and Student Body President Max Beal. At the opening, the Pride of the Plains marching band had  their first performance of the semester. 

The event was concluded by closing remarks from Kristensen and the ribbon cutting.  Tours of Discovery Hall were then given to interested parties. 

Built in the shape of a ‘K,’ Discovery Hall is now home to UNK programs such as  aviation systems, cybersecurity, engineering, industrial distribution, mathematics and statistics,  computer science, among others. Many of these courses were previously housed in Otto Olsen. As Otto Olsen deteriorates, faculty and students are glad to be in an updated building. 

Professor of product design Ahna Packard now teaches in Discovery Hall. “Otto Olsen was a very old building and had the problems that old buildings have, so  we’re very appreciative to have a nice clean, new, dry building,” Packard said. “I think it  energizes [students] to have these big new spaces and it’s much brighter than Otto Olsen, which is very nice.” 

The idea for this building has been in the making for over twenty years. Construction for this 90,000 square foot structure began in 2018. Discovery Hall features state of the art technology and convenient resources. There is a multitaction wall and flight simulator, as well as  motorized sit-stand desks, spacious labs, and classrooms designed with remote learning in mind even before COVID-19. 

Discovery Hall will serve as a place of learning and innovation for years to come. “There are gonna be generations that will be served by this building, and that’s really what Discovery Hall is all about.” Kristensen said. “The building is flexible enough to survive  for more generations and be able to sustain programs that we haven’t even thought of yet.”

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