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2010.08.19 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Roskens Hall Redevelopment Yields New Home for College of Education

Editor's note: Renderings of the renovated facility and donor bios are availalbe at http://stories.nufoundation.org/node/737.

Omaha
- A year from now, Roskens Hall at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will feature state-of-the-art classroom facilities and outreach clinics focused on teaching, educational administration, counseling, learning disabilities and speech/hearing education.

Previously home to UNO’s College of Business Administration, Roskens Hall is undergoing a complete transformation for the university’s College of Education. The renovated facility will open to students by the fall 2011 semester.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place earlier today – Thursday, Aug. 19 – on the UNO campus, featuring remarks from University of Nebraska President J.B. Milliken, UNO Chancellor John Christensen, UNO College of Education Dean Nancy Edick, University of Nebraska Foundation President Clarence Castner and College of Education student Rena Ramiah.

The $13.7 million project, almost entirely paid for by private funds, will yield an additional 20,000 square feet of space to expand programs and outreach. Roskens Hall will also feature a resource and innovation center; a state of the art science, technology, engineering and math center; and new collaboration rooms.

The College of Business Administration moved to its new home, Mammel Hall, earlier this year. Mammel Hall is south of the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute.

Ruth and Bill Scott and Dr. George Haddix, all of Omaha, are the principal donors to the Roskens Hall redevelopment project, a fundraising priority for UNO through the University of Nebraska Foundation’s Campaign for Nebraska. The Scotts made the lead gift to the project. Their commitment will benefit what they believe is one of Omaha’s greatest assets – teachers.

“Our community depends greatly on the College of Education’s expertise in preparing students for careers in education and other professions that are fundamental to the success of our community,” said Ruth Scott. “With this new facility we believe UNO will achieve even greater accomplishments. We are pleased to be part of the campus’ tremendous progress.”

While George Haddix finds projects supporting teachers to be particularly worthy endeavors, the Roskens Hall redevelopment project is especially meaningful to him.

His gift benefits the college where his wife Sally, a longtime teacher, earned a degree in education.

“After discussing the College of Education’s future plans for teacher preparation and program enhancements with the chancellor and the dean, it became clear that upgrading the physical facility is an important element of the plans,” he said. “This redevelopment project underlines the UNO commitment to the college in a visible and functional package. We are happy to participate in such a project.”

The physical appearance of the building will include a new outdoor courtyard and a visually dramatic entrance and atrium on the building’s south side, across from UNO’s Arts and Sciences Hall. The north entrance on Dodge Street will also be accentuated with a welcoming entrance and parking to accommodate clients served by the community.

“The redevelopment of Roskens Hall is so much more than just a new building. This renovation will provide an enhanced experience for students, faculty and staff,” Edick said. “We are not only breaking ground on a renovation, but we are breaking ground for new ways of learning and leading in the profession of education. Classrooms and common spaces will enhance collaboration among students, and provide partnership opportunities with the community, enabling the College of Education and UNO to move forward as a leading metropolitan university.”

Construction of Roskens Hall – then known only as the College of Business Administration Building – began in 1973. When dedicated on May 16, 1975, the $3.7 million building was lauded as a “modern educational facility that is a welcome addition to the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus,” according to university records.

When it opened more than 35 years ago, the 95,000-square-foot facility also housed the English, Political Science and Philosophy-Religion departments.

UNO’s College of Education has a lengthy history of service the area’s teacher needs. In Nebraska, more than 30 percent of educators have UNO degrees. In the Omaha metro area, that number jumps to 60 percent. UNO alumni make up 50 percent of Omaha-area education administrators.

Visit http://coe.unomaha.edu/ for more information on the College of Education; or call (402) 554-2762.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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