by jamesc 1/30/2014 4:27:03 PM --
LINCOLN – The president of Northeast Community College appeared before the Nebraska Legislature’s Executive Board Thursday, speaking in favor of a bill that would allow a portion of land on the Norfolk Regional Center (NRC) campus to be donated to the College.
“The Norfolk Regional Center property is surrounded by Northeast Community College. It is reasonable to believe that when land adjacent to the college is available, the college would be interested in it, said Dr. Michael Chipps. “If the college is to continue to grow and prosper to meet the educational needs of our fellow Nebraskans, then it has the obligation and responsibility to look into acquiring the land. LB 917 would add value to this non-producing state land in the form of providing educational benefits to our students.”
Chipps said as Northeast adds new facilities; it absorbs more of the College’s farm land. “The college needs to position itself to ensure that adequate ground is available for students to gain the practical experiences necessary to be contributors to society. When additional facilities are added to Northeast’s primary campus location immediately to the west, land currently utilized by the agriculture program declines. Acquiring this property provides the College an opportunity to obtain land that may be used in the future to serve our agriculture program and its students, as well as other educational program areas,” he said.
LB 917 is sponsored by Senator Beau McCoy, Omaha, and Senator Jim Scheer, Norfolk. It calls for two state agencies to work with Northeast Community College to determine which portion of the land is no longer needed for state purposes.
The property in question lies north of the existing main building on the NRC property. It presently includes several buildings that are no longer used and are in a state of disrepair. Other buildings on this property have already been demolished. The land is situated in an area that lies between the college’s farm and the Chuck M. Pohlman Agriculture Complex.
Chipps told the Executive Board that the property has fallen into a state of disrepair and is unsightly to the college and the Norfolk area. “Please picture that this parcel is located in the middle of our beautiful college campus. If donated to the college, we will be diligent to make the land useful for educational purposes,” said Chipps. He went on to also say that the College will work with the Departments of Administrative Services and Health and Human Services to determine which parcels are still needed for state related purposes.
In closing, President Chipps stated, "The overall goal of LB 917 is to repurpose public lands for the benefit of our fellow Nebraskans.” --###--