Hastings College entering era of investing in campus buildings

Renovations of housing, student union and new residence hall planned.

Poised to embark on an ambitious campus revitalization journey, Hastings College plans to launch this summer the first phase of a new comprehensive plan, with a focus on upgrading its residential infrastructure, followed by a significant renovation of the student union and, upon approval, construction of a new residence hall.

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The planned new residence hall will face Hazelrigg Student Union and be adjacent to Fuhr Hall where Weyer Hall is currently. Weyer Hall will be taken down later this summer.

This summer, half of the Bronco Village Apartments (BVA) and every other residential facility on campus will undergo enhancements, ranging from lobby and common space improvements to furniture upgrades and, in the case of BVA, kitchen renovations, new furnishings and flooring. The other half of BVA will be renovated in the summer of 2025, while more extensive renovations to all other housing facilities will take place during summers 2025 and 2026.

These improvements are funded by a grant from the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation and will provide an immediate benefit to current and future students. The investment comes after a multi-year process of the College working to balance its budget while focusing on improving the student experience.

“We are really blessed and fortunate that over the decades our alumni, trustees, employees and friends of the College have been good stewards, and have had an interest in our continued success and supported our mission,” said Dr. Rich Lloyd, president of Hastings College. “The work over the last two years has got us to where we are today, with the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation recognizing our efforts and stepping in to work alongside us to make key investments in our campus.”

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A view into the courtyard of the new hall.

Pending Hastings Planning Commission and City Council approval of the College’s development plan, as well as approval of the Scott Foundation’s Residence Hall Redevelopment Project plan, work will also begin this summer on a new 318-bed residence hall located near the center of campus. The goal is to open the hall in the fall of 2026.

“This initiative is really critical, as it addresses a growing demand for affordable on-campus housing and in our community,” Lloyd said. “We want our students to be on campus and part of our together-learning community, but we need the housing.”

The proposed residence hall will include meeting rooms, a workout space, center courtyard and other common spaces and amenities that will be open to all students on campus. It will feature a combination of four- and two-bedroom units, and studio style rooms. The land for the proposed four-story, U-shaped building will be owned by Hastings College, but the building itself will be built and owned by the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation, and managed by Scott Residential Management (SRM). SRM is working with Holland Basham Architects (HBA) and Turner Construction for the new residential facility design and construction.

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A rendering of the lobby of the proposed new residence hall.

To make way for the new hall, Weyer Hall, which sits next to Hazelrigg Student Union (HSU) and Fuhr Hall, will be taken down later this summer. Weyer, which opened in 1950, has been vacant since early 2022 due to plumbing problems that would require a full gut to repair. The cost to repair, abate asbestos and other hazards, and renovate is just too high for the number of students the building can house.

“Weyer Hall provided a wonderful living community for our students for 72 years,” Lloyd said. “We honor its history by placing the new facility in that location, and are looking forward to being able to house more students in a new hall at the center of campus.”

Pending city approval to vacate Pine Knoll Road, a one-block deadend street, parking for the new hall will be east of the building. The College owns or will own by June 1 all remaining structures on the east side of the street, which will be removed this summer.

As noted in December, SRM will begin operating Hastings College Dining Services this summer. SRM operates housing and dining for Scott Campus properties at the University of Nebraska Omaha. SRM will also begin operating Hastings College housing in the summer of 2025.

Hastings College and SRM are also planning a multi-year renovation of HSU. This summer, work will be limited to some updates in the kitchen, as well as storage and collaboration spaces. Renovations in the dining hall, coffee shop, common spaces and other areas will happen beginning in the summer of 2025 and continue into 2026. Details for these renovations, which are also included in a Scott Foundation grant, will be finalized later this year.

“All of this work is a substantial investment in our facilities and student spaces,” Lloyd said. “Our campus of 120 acres is really stunning, and this will help us update our inside spaces to match, while continuing to be an asset to and destination for the greater Hastings community.”

Hastings College is a four-year residential college that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Discover more at hastings.edu.

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