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The Antelope

Comm Department preps for transition to URS 

Classes in the computer lab will be taught in West Center. Photo provided by Grace McDonald / Antelope Staff

Library renovations will begin in January. 

Greg Christen, a Facilities project manager, and Michael Cremers, director of Facilities Management and Planning, declined to comment.

“This is a good thing for the Mitchell Center to get,” said Nanette Hogg, chair of the UNK Department of Communication. “And I know there is a lot of emotion, I mean heck, I don’t want to clean out all my stuff and move it. I’ve been here 20 years in this same office.”

Phase one of construction will involve the west half and second floor of the building, and it will be finished by summer of 2023. Phase two will begin immediately after to renovate the east half and second floor, said Todd Gottula, senior director of communications and marketing. 

The fraternities are moving out of University Residence North and South at the end of the fall semester but will not be able to move into Martin Hall until after Jan. 3. 

Gottula said students will be given three boxes to pack their personal belongings. All other “chapter-owned” items will be moved the week of Dec. 19. The sororities will stay behind until the second residence is ready.

All faculty and staff in the Mitchell Center must pack their things to be taken over to URS where their new offices will be. All other furniture and university owned items will be left for a moving company. 

Hogg said, Steve Hansen with Information Technology Services at UNK, will oversee moving the electronics.

“However, this is a department decision and we have not coordinated every detail yet on the moving process,” Gottula said. “They have been told the expectations, but no date has been scheduled yet.”

During construction, organizations in the library must adjust. Undergraduate research will stay in the library, but the learning commons will move to URN and the Honors program will move to Men’s Hall. Archives and books from the library will be stored in buildings throughout campus.

Communication classes will be split between Discovery Hall and West Center. Professors’ offices will be on the first and second floors of URS in pod D, in the southwest corner.

The old chapter room for Phi Delta Theta, will be used as a lecture and conference room for faculty and staff to hold meetings. Hogg said computers will be stationed around the perimeter, and Facilities is working on getting a projector and a screen to put in that room.

The main teaching lab will be in West Center, and the smaller work lab will be in URS near professors’ offices, so students can receive class-related help quicker. West Center has cleared a room for all of the Communication Department equipment so that the software and connections remain the same as before. 

The Antelope newsroom will be in Phi Delta Theta’s old lounge. Hogg said computers will be set up around the room, and the newspaper adviser’s office will be in a dorm room close by.

The student radio station, 91.1 KLPR, will remain in operation. The project managers will inform the station manager before power is shut off. Students will access the station through the emergency exit door.

Gottula said key card access has not been finalized yet, but if access is available, it will only be for the southwest pod of URS only for those in the communication department. No accommodations will need to be made for parking. 

“I want to tell people it is temporary,” Hogg said. “And that when we come back it will be better.”

Professors will lecture in the Phi Delta Theta chapter room. Photo provided by Grace McDonald / Antelope Staff
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SHELBY BERGLUND, Photography Editor
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