Small or large, NCTA projects enhance campus for Aggies

Small or large, NCTA projects enhance campus for Aggies

Dr. Larry Gossen is in his third year as dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. (NCTA photo)
Dr. Larry Gossen is in his third year as dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. (NCTA photo)

By NCTA Dean Larry Gossen, Ph.D.

Two weeks of classes are completed here at NCTA and everyone is settling in after a busy Labor Day weekend.

We are still getting to know our newest Aggie students, as they are becoming more familiar with the campus and community. Thank you, Curtis, for welcoming them with wonderful hospitality.

Back in July, I shared with readers the first phase of deferred maintenance projects and upgrades to the campus facilities, residence halls, and grounds. A huge shout out to our facilities, maintenance, and grounds crews, along with the NCTA summer farm and ranch crew. THANK YOU!

Our three-phase master plan for addressing these needs:

  • Deferred maintenance completed (major projects)
  • Deferred maintenance recently completed or underway
  • Deferred maintenance for largest projects (LB 384 funds, $3 million to NCTA)

From small to large, these projects make a significant difference in our ability to provide a safe campus for learning and living accommodations. The projects are done by our staff along with contractors who have successfully bid the work.

Think about your home, business and farm or ranch. Most likely, there is always repair work, a renovation on a facility, or a major project which requires extensive planning, investment and labor.

Some of these projects include necessary repairs to classrooms, dining areas, laboratories, and annual maintenance in each of the residence halls.

Other projects are to improve movement or access for our teaching programs. Any livestock, horses or animals used at the Livestock Teaching Center, for example, are moved for the day or days being used at the indoor arena or other areas such as the Red Barn or Equine Barn.

We now have an improved process to safely and efficiently move cattle or other livestock at the campus farm from the feedlot or the pasture on the north part of campus down the hill (and back) to holding pens or the indoor arena of the Livestock Teaching Center.

Thanks to Alan Taylor, experiential learning coordinator, and Roy Cole, farm manager, for their work with the summer crew of student employees and our maintenance team for this improvement. It saves time and is much safer for our campus community and students.

Here are some of the items for Phase II, either completed or underway:

  • Repaired the access sidewalk ramp at Aggie West residential hall
  • Replaced water softener units at multiple locations on campus
  • Upgrades to furniture, some rooms, and common areas at Aggie West
  • Replaced several pieces of equipment for food services in the cafeteria and deli
  • Added more livestock holding pens on the east side of the Livestock Teachingn Center
  • Created an alleyway between the feedlot or pasture to the Livestock Teaching Center. Gates are closed during movement and reopened for on-campus vehicles, only
  •  Installed outdoor electrical outlets in parking lots for diesel pickups
  • Multiple repairs and upgrades in the Veterinary Technician building
  • New furniture in residence halls, cafeteria, student center, Ag Hall and Vet Tech

We have some major projects coming which I will outline in a future report, one of which is addressing ADA accessibility to all facilities, particularly Aggie Dining.

It’s always nice to have our alumni back to campus, to reminisce, see what’s new and bring their children or grandchildren as they consider attending college here.

If you attend Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island on September 13-15, be sure to stop by the University of Nebraska displays and Big Red Building.  NCTA and student ambassadors will be in the tent again, welcoming youth, alumni and friends to Discover NCTA!

NCTA Events:

Sept. 6-9:  NCTA at College Fairs York, Columbus, Peru, Falls City, Beatrice, Gretna and Fremont

Sept. 9-10:  Aggie Rodeo to River Falls, Wisconsin

Sept. 10-11:  Aggie Shotgun Sports Team to Hays, Kansas

Sept. 12-14:  NCTA at College Fairs in Mullen, Alliance, Scottsbluff, Chadron, Sidney and Ogallala

Sept. 13-15:  NCTA at Husker Harvest Days, Grand Island

Part of the University of Nebraska system, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a two-year institution with a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology and related industries. NCTA is known for its affordable tuition, high job-placement rate for its graduates, and for the success of student teams in competitive activities including crops judging, ranch horse events, livestock judging, shotgun sports, stock dog trials, and intercollegiate rodeo. The college is consistently ranked as one of the best two-year schools in the nation.

Download a PDF of this press release