The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Engineering celebrated the “topping out” of its redesigned Link facility on Aug. 26.
The event is a longstanding ironworker tradition in which the final steel beam is raised into place, signifying the end of primary framing work. It includes placing a small evergreen tree and an American flag on the final beam before it is lifted to complete the structure.
The final beam for the Link project was painted white and signed by Gov. Pete Ricketts; University of Nebraska system President Ted Carter; Chancellor Ronnie Green; College of Engineering Dean Lance C. Pérez; donors; external advisory board members; Hausmann Construction representatives; and others involved with the project. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the signatures were gathered virtually.
The $75 million Link project is the first phase in an expansion of Nebraska Engineering facilities. It has been nearly nine months since the 34-year-old Link — a two-story academic structure that connected engineering spaces in Nebraska Hall and the Scott Engineering Center — was torn down to allow for new construction.
Nebraska Engineering’s first-phase expansion is scheduled for completion this fall. It will feature approximately 87,000 gross square feet of new construction and extensive renovations to the existing Scott Engineering Center.
When complete, the new structure will house the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. It will also feature advanced research labs, state-of-the-art classrooms and collaborative spaces.
Overall, the expansion of Nebraska Engineering facilities is divided into three phases. The second phase — estimated at $85 million, including a $20 million commitment from Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc. — will erect Kiewit Hall on the corner of 17th and Vine streets. The third phase, which is not yet scheduled, will improve facilities at the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha, enhancing the college’s collaborations with the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska Medical Center.