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A welcoming new building for UNMC

Posted at 6:57 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 19:57:27-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — With the turn of the shovel, another new multi-million dollar project is started on the UNMC campus.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has been around for well over a hundred years, but its history in the community is relatively unknown.

One alum wants to change that--and make it available for all who come to visit the campus.

The Wigton Heritage Center will now be the new 'front door' for the growing campus--a welcome center for visitors and new students to showcase the history and success of the university.

The building is named after Dr. Robert Wigton, an alum and former professor at UNMC, who donated 8 million dollars towards the project.

A self-described historian of UNMC, Dr. Wigton saw a need not only to preserve the history--but to share it with visitors.

"We're reaching a period where the people who grew up with the school and lived through all this are retiring and going away,” said Dr. Wigton. “There needs to be a strong push to get all of this information out and to have the history really preserved."

The creation of the heritage center will be combined with the renovations done to Wittson Hall.

That project, already underway thanks to state funding, makes this a dual public-private project--but even state lawmakers realize that buildings like this need private funds, too.

"It doesn't happen without state dollars,” said State Senator Jim Scheer. “But without those dollars from the philanthropic areas, we just wouldn't have near the facilities, the number of facilities. And with those facilities we attract new people, new research."

The Wigton Heritage Center should be complete by spring of 2021.