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Aug 20
MCC opens year with major upgrade to von Riesen


MCC opens year with major upgrade to von Riesen

McCook Community College's von Riesen Library is open after $1 million in summer renovations.

The library was closed over the summer to move all student services from the basement to the first floor to make them easier to find. The changes will allow the college to jointly use staff from multiple departments to operate the facility.

Service offices -- including tutoring and career services and student success -- were moved upstairs where there are two areas designated for taking tests. The first floor houses a memorabilia room that will be accessible to the public, a group study room, carrel desks and charging stations.

"The new and expanded circulation desk serves as the hub. Students can stop there to get directions to the various services," said Michael D. Steele, Mid-Plains Community College Vice President Administrative Services. "They can also sit at a bar behind the circulation desk to study."

The book stacks and the children's library were moved downstairs. The children's library also got its own semiprivate space in the basement to give it more room and gained a television. The news and sports information office, as well as the piano lab, are still located on the lower level. They are now joined by two study rooms and seating for group workspaces.

"Our learning commons is the much-anticipated merger of our student success centers and libraries into one shared space and operation," said Bobbi Muehlenkamp, MPCC Area Director of the Learning Commons. "Our vision is to be the "go-to" place for students, whether they need assistance with tutoring or research, taking a test, printing off a paper before class, connecting with a caring staff member, or finding a quiet place to study alone or with friends."

Muehlenkamp said as part of this change, Sunday hours have changed to 1-6 p.m. and staff is available for testing by appointment.

Also, to help alleviate the traffic bottleneck on the south side of campus along L Street, angled parking was added between von Riesen and Walsh-Brady.

The cost of all McCook campus projects is estimated at $1 million. As in North Platte, the von Riesen remodel was aided by a $114,720 CCPE funding grant.

A public ribbon cutting ceremony for von Riesen is set for the Oct 23 at 4 p.m. before the October Area Governing Board meeting in McCook.

Another summer upgrade included renovations to the Applied Science and Technology (CAST) where locker rooms and restrooms were moved to the front of the building to allow students to change before entering the shop and lab. That will allow for better utilization of space within the lab. Additionally, one classroom was expanded into space not previously being utilized. The exterior of the building was also revamped.

Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​​​