SECC celebrates Learning Center grand opening

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

Southeast Community College celebrated the move into its new Nebraska City Learning Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Nebraska City Learning Center Coordinator Cindy Meyer, Nebraska City Mayor Bryan Bequette, and SCC President Dr. Paul Illich were among the speakers at the event. Afterwards, there were tours and refreshments for guests.

“I never even dreamt of this,” Meyer told the crowd gathered in the center’s parking lot as the ceremony began.

Bequette spoke of “three excitements” that SCC has provided for the City of Nebraska City: first, the selection of Nebraska City as one of six Learning Center sites in the college’s 15-county service area; second, the 2016 opening of the initial center in the 800 block of Central Avenue; and third, the relocation to the former Pioneer Academy across from City Hall in the 1400 block of Central Avenue.

Bequette thanked SCC board of governors members for their faith in the community, and he promised that Southeast Community College will grow in Nebraska City as the community grows.

Bequette said the new facility provides SCC the opportunity to “continue to be a leader in a network of educators,” bringing together SCC staff and services with Nebraska City Public Schools and Lourdes Central Catholic Schools, as well as lifelong learners in the community.

Illich said he wants to see the Learning Centers succeed so they can help strengthen the communities in which they are based.

“We don’t want the communities to shrink,” he said.

Illich also made note of research that indicates that brains that keep learning keep creating new connections, “just like Southeast Community College.”

“I am so thankful and appreciative that SCC has made this substantial investment and commitment for students of all ages in our area,” said Meyer. “I love seeing growth through education in people at all levels.”

The building, which was purchased last spring from Nebraska City Public Schools, features 12,500 square feet and includes indoor and outdoor classrooms, health simulation room, office and testing spaces, a construction lab and more.

“The facility offers additional space for both credit and non-credit classes as well as student services,” Meyer said.

SCC opened the first of six Learning Centers in May 2016 in York. In September 2019, SCC moved into a new Learning Center facility in Falls City. Other communities with SCC Learning Centers are Hebron, Plattsmouth and Wahoo. 

SCC’s first location in Nebraska City opened in 2016 at 819 Central Ave.

Members of the Southeast Community College Board of Governors, left, and the Nebraska City Public Schools Board of Education, right, helped celebrate the opening of the Nebraska City Learning Center on Tuesday, Aug. 24.