- Associated Press - Saturday, February 6, 2016

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - Ground may be broken earlier than expected on a new Central Community College campus in Kearney, thanks to a campaign that has so far raised $8.5 million.

Construction on the $23.3 million campus will hopefully begin “yet this spring,” foundation executive director Dean Moors told the Kearney Hub (https://bit.ly/1nMYnpf ).

Moors said that date could be moved up if the college can hit its $10 million goal in outside contributions. A $1.5 million donation was confirmed Friday from the William & Ruth Scott Family Foundation in Omaha, Moors said.

The college plans to use $13.3 million from reserves and bonds, in addition to the $10 million in private funds, to pay for the new addition.

The campus is scheduled to open in 2018.

“The community is excited about the project,” Moors said. “They’re excited about the campaign, and they were overwhelmingly in support of moving forward.”

The nearly 65,000-square-foot campus will be located across from the new Kearney High School in southwest Kearney, which will open this fall. The new community college campus will feature classes for industrial maintenance, advanced manufacturing, construction, information technology, health sciences and more.

John Abegglen, vice chairman of the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County, said the new campus will help to ease the difficulty of finding qualified workers.

“A trained and educated workforce is really vital to grow our economy and expand business, both locally and across our state,” Abegglen said.

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Information from: Kearney Hub, https://www.kearneyhub.com/

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