The Northeast Community College’s MaClay Building is Getting Huge Renovations

Architectural drawing of a new Maclay building on the Northeast Community College campus in Norfolk.

Rose Mercierrmercier

Architectural drawing of a new Maclay building on the Northeast Community College campus in Norfolk.

Video provided by NECC Hawk TV News

Keally Peck, Writer

In February 2023, Northeast Community College (NECC) announced the MaClay building, along with the Library Resource Center, was being torn down.

The college is moving forward with replacing the MaClay building and will renovate the former Library and Resource Center, both of which sit in the academic core of the NECC campus. This project plans to create space that will improve learning environments for students, along with flexibility for multiple program uses.

Scott Gray, vice president of administrative services, said due to its more than 50-plus years of service, the Maclay building has numerous concerns that include poor mechanical and electrical systems, confusing traffic patterns at entrance points and throughout the building, limited efficiency in the design, and the need for fire detection and suppression systems. He said the project team and a steering committee of Northeast representatives discussed and analyzed the option of renovating the existing Maclay Building.

The 49,000-square-foot MaClay building was built in 1971. The building had been named after the first NECC president, F. Don Maclay. Back then, the building was known as the MaClay Administration Building; however, it is now addressed simply as the MaClay Building. Shortly after, in 1972, the 8,200-square-foot Library/Resource Center was built to initially serve library resources. However, the library and service center were closed down after Union 73 was opened in 2019, where the new library and center would be placed. The closed-down center plans to be used again during the teardown and remodel of the MaClay building.

The people who teach classes in the MaClay building will be moving their classrooms to the College Welcome Center or to Union 73. Most of the faculty offices will be moved to the Library Resource Center. Dr. Charlene Barrett’s office will be moved to the College Welcome Center.

“I think the students will love the new Maclay building; it is state-of-the-art,” Dr. Widener, Vice President of Education Services, said when asked about the new building.

“It has been very thoughtfully put together with students focused on every piece of it and what is best for the student,” Widener said.

A new and more efficient MaClay building would allow more programs to be located around the building. Academic programs like accounting, administrative professionals, business, English, and health information management systems are just some of the ones planned to be in the new building. It will also house Academic Outreach, Adult Education, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the administrative offices of the Educational Services Division, and workforce development.

A complete interior renovation of the library and resource center is also planned. The renovation will make it possible for specialized arts program space to be relocated out of the MaClay building and more towards the nearby Weller building. This includes digital media, graphic design, and visual arts programs.

This 25 million-dollar project will be paid entirely with funds from the NECC’s capital fund budget. The Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education also sees value in the new facilities to meet the needs of students. The vote for approving the building was indefinite, as everyone was in favor of rebuilding the more than 50-year-old building.

“The building is going to be set up in a way that will improve social connections and networking for students,” Feilmeier, the NECC Vice President of Technology Services, said in an interview with Hawk TV.

“So students are going to use the latest technology, but also the environment is safe with bright open windows,” Feilmeier said.

The demolition of the MaClay building, along with the construction of a new building, is scheduled to begin in the late summer of this year, with classes beginning in the fall of 2025. The former Library/Resource Center is not planned to be remodeled until fall 2025, with completion planned for summer 2026.

Hawk TV News originally covered this story; check out the news story in the linked video!