BEATRICE - Southeast Community College broke ground Tuesday on the latest Beatrice Campus modernization effort…a 52,000 square foot classroom building, that will occupy the center of the campus.

SCC President Dr. Paul Illich says it's part of the school's effort to provide graduates for areas where Nebraska has skilled worker shortages.

:22 "this particular crisis"

Illich says the facility will establish a "sense of place" for students, faculty and staff…and is designed for good faculty and student collaboration.

:30 "campus locations"

He said the classroom facility will serve as a catalyst for other campus improvements. Already well underway are a new multi-story residential facility and a dining hall.

Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth thanked the SCC Board of Governors and said the college's investment is "beyond our wildest dreams".

:20 "so desperately needs"

Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Angie Bruna said the SCC administration and board is forward-thinking in the planning for the campus.

:15 "Beatrice community"

Gage Area Growth Enterprise Director Walker Zulkoski said the decision by SCC to improve the campus is evidence of a strong economy and the push to meet skilled workforce needs.

:09 "industries"

The Classroom Building is being designed by BVH Architects and the contract for the project is Hausman Construction. The site for the facility has been fenced off and earth work is expected to begin next week.

Nearby to the north, SCC last week began demolishing Hoover Hall, built in the mid-1960s. That dorm facility is being replaced by the new residence hall.