“Our goal is to harness UNMC’s world-class skills to transform rural Nebraska through a unique endeavor not seen elsewhere in the United States: educating health care workers and professionals in rural areas,” said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “The Rural Health Education Building will be a game-changer in this respect, serving a crucial role in filling shortages in all medical professions across Nebraska.
Located on the UNK campus directly north of the Health Science Education Complex, RDG’s design for the Rural Health Education Building features classrooms; simulation and clinical skills laboratories for pre-clinical education and complex clinical scenarios; and simulated primary care spaces. The building supports the expansion of existing allied health and nursing programs in Kearney as well as the development of new programs to train physicians, pharmacists, and public health professionals. Its adjacent location to the Health Science Education Complex creates a hub for health education in rural Nebraska to serve current and future providers and support collaborative research projects.
“This is not just a building — it’s a catalyst for change in rural health care that will have a long-lasting impact and fill critical health care gaps for years to come. We are fortunate to be able to partner with UNK and UNMC to support the education and innovation of health care standards for central and western Nebraska,” said RDG Architect and Senior Partner, Nate Gieselman, AIA, NCARB.
RDG’s design encompasses three stories and 110,000 square feet of education and practice space. Once complete, the $95 million facility will train more than 300 students, support about 240 local jobs and have an annual economic impact estimated at $34.5 million. Construction is set to complete in late 2025 with occupancy in early 2026.