Starting this spring work will start on the geothermal project. The Campus Quad will not be accessible from March 27, 2023, through July or August 2023. The Library and CATS are converting to geothermal heating/cooling, which brings us significant savings and efficiency. Five other buildings are on geothermal systems: T.J. Majors, Campus Services, Delzell, Performing Arts Center, and Jindra. When the Quad is rebuilt, it will be better than ever, with a new design, wider walkways, a central plaza with additional seating and lighting, and better ADA accessibility.

The Campus Quad will not be accessible. The entire space will be overturned, with nearly all Quad sidewalks removed and the area prepared for geothermal heating/cooling installation.

Beginning Monday, March 27, 2023, through July or August 2023.

The Library and CATS are converting to geothermal heating/cooling, which brings us significant savings and efficiency. Six other buildings are on geothermal systems: T.J. Majors, Campus Services, Administration, Delzell, Performing Arts Center, and Jindra. When the Quad is rebuilt, it will be better than ever, with a new design, wider walkways, a central plaza with additional seating and lighting, and better ADA accessibility.

Geothermal heating/cooling transfers energy through a series of underground wells. The wellfield will go under the Quad. Some trees will be removed and replanted or replaced. The Quad will be torn up, drilled for the wells, and then replaced.

Why the short notice?
This project was to begin in May, but plans changed when it was determined that starting in May would mean the work would continue well into the fall semester. Starting on March 29 will mean the heavy work will be done before the start of classes in the fall, leaving just the landscaping work to take place during the fall term.
How do we access Quad buildings?

We must use the back doors of Jindra, Hoyt, PAC, Admin, Library, CATS, and Student Center. There will be no front-door access to these buildings.

How will I know where to go?

Directional signage will be placed throughout campus.

What about ADA?

An ADA accessible van will transport anyone with accessibility needs. Contact Tracy Davis, Disability Services Coordinator, at or 402-872-2240.

Will it be noisy?

Yes. During the first two weeks, large equipment will move into the Quad, sidewalks demolished, and trees removed. Faculty who would like to move their classes to T.J. Majors or another quiet location are encouraged to talk with their Dean. We have asked the construction crews to be respectful of theater and music performances, final exams, and Commencement.

What if I need help getting around?
Contact Matt Thielen, AVP of Student Affairs, at or 402-872-2292.
What about Orientation?
This project will take place during all Orientation sessions. We will guide our campus guests and provide shuttle services.
What about Commencement?
The commencement reception will be on the T. J. Majors lawn. As always, we will guide our campus guests and provide shuttle services.
Will the Quad look different?
Yes. The space will be finished with better walkways and lighting, improved ADA accessibility, and more tables and seating. Expect landscaping to extend through the fall 2023 semester.
How is this being funded?

Funding is generously provided by the State of Nebraska.

Peru State College is pleased to announce we have broken ground on a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) campus improvement project. 

The project scope includes; creating accessibility routes from the Performing Arts Center (PAC) plaza to Delzell hall and Campus Services, as well as related site lighting. Also in the project plan is a new ADA compliant ramp to the Campus Services building.

Schemmer Associates designed the project. Their design (see below) calls for the removal of some of the old limestone retaining wall around Delzell. Genesis Contracting is on-site and responsible for the demolition work, construction and installation of the new ADA compliant ramps and walkways.

In preparation for the new ADA walkways, Record Doors installed push button door operators in three buildings; The south side entrance of Delzell where the ADA walkway is under construction, the elevator entrance to the Administration building and the north east entrance to the Campus Services building. These controllers are not yet wired in, however, the entrances are open for use.

This spring Peru State College has partnered with McKinnis Roofing to repair/replace all of the damaged roofing on campus.

You may have already noticed the McKinnis workers around. They have been hard at work on several buildings including the Faculty Apartments, A.V. Larson and Morgan Hall.

Below are photos of the project-in-progress, including some of the scaffolding erected around Morgan. The scaffolding took a couple of days to construct and is key to the workers’ safety and productivity.

If visiting one of the buildings under repair, please be aware that these are Construction Zones and use appropriate caution.

Please enjoy the photos and check back often. Updates and new photos will be added as the project continues.

In preparation for the new dining service, Fresh Ideas, the kitchen, dining area and Library coffee shop are undergoing a few changes.

Gone are the large grey tables and brown cobblestone-esque carpet. New seating includes a combination of 2-seat and 4-seat squares, 6-seat and 8-seat rounds, booths and high top community tables. The chairs are aluminum ladder-backed with wood seats, while the booth seats are blue and charcoal fabric. The new layout will maximize the space, and add 18 more seats to the dining room.

A mixture of charcoal gray, blue and black carpet in the dining area will provide the perfect backdrop to the new seating. The existing tile walkway will remain; however, LVT will be added to parts of the servery area.

The servery is undergoing a complete change, starting with the removal of a couple of walls. The entire food area is now an open space, which will house several different food stations. Students and staff will have the opportunity to visit each station without leaving the servery area.

Along with the new seating and servery, Fresh Ideas will be installing Fresh on Demand kiosks in the entry area of the Student Center. These kiosks will be available 24/7, filled daily with fresh snacks and light meals, and will be located in the space that formerly housed the student mailboxes.

The coffee shop in the Library is also receiving some modification. The wall between the shop and Library was taken down, and tables and chairs placed in the Library for dining.

We look forward to the new areas and dining service. Welcome to campus Fresh Ideas!

Delzell Hero image

Overview:  Renovation of the 1939 three-story, Gothic-styled dormitory will include a complete remodel of the currently non air-conditioned, all-male residence hall. The completed facility will feature  refurbished rooms with new sinks, cabinetry, paint, carpet, new windows and sound reduction between rooms. An elevator will provide ADA accessibility. New building amenities will include a community kitchen, improved HVAC (to include AC) and community rooms. Major renovation features will include a complete remodel of the restroom/shower rooms, a new electrical system to accommodate information technology requirements and a new mechanical system which will incorporate a geothermal well field (for energy efficient heating and cooling) and enhanced security features. The $9.9 million project is slated to be completed in time for an August 2017 occupancy.

Project Team:

Architect:  Jackson-Jackson & Associates, Inc.
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer:  Alvine Engineering
Interior Design:  ie.Design
General Contractor:  F&B Constructors, Inc.

Welcome back Bobcats! This year the Oak Hill apartments are receiving some attention. The apartments, located east of the Oak Bowl, are home to several Juniors and Seniors during the school year.

Some of the apartments are receiving more work than others (Q Unit was completely remodeled a few years ago and will not be addressed at this time), however, all of the apartments have had new wood laminate flooring and toilets installed. Some of the other touchups include paint, some new showers/tub surrounds, outdoor concrete work, landscape mulch, interior doors and storm doors. Future plans consist of replacing storm damaged roofs and fixing building exteriors.

The entrances, commons areas and south parking lot at the Centennial Complex are sporting a few changes. The complex, opened to residents in 1967, consists of Mathews, Clayburn, Palmer, Davidson, Nicholas and Pate halls. The buildings are set on the south side of campus, border the softball and baseball fields, and the campus’ bio retention basin runs along the east side. The landscape contains a wide variety of vegetation including the quercetum, a collection of 45 varieties of oaks and oak hybrids.

“Complex Confusion” is a thing of the past! No longer will anyone wonder which building they are in as each of the six received new carpet and paint, with a different accent color for each. New LED lights are currently being installed in the game rooms and commons areas, and the entranceways to all of the buildings have had the old wallpaper removed and have been textured and painted. After the installation of new bulletin boards and wall base, the entrances will be finished.

Painters were busy most of the summer painting the yellow-beige walls a smart alabaster. That alone brightened up the halls. Add to that the accent colors on the doorways and stair-facing walls, and each building has its own personality! The campus Facility Services (formerly Campus Services) Maintenance staff is painting floor numbers on the accent walls. Now, when entering a building or stepping off the landing, everyone will know exactly where they are by looking at the accent color and floor number.

Carpet installers followed close behind the painters and laid 1,807.94 square yards of carpet. That is over 3 miles of carpet! The main carpet color harmonizes with the alabaster walls and the six accent colors. “Color pops” (bright colors picked from the tertiary color wheel) coordinating with the accent walls carry through into the new flooring. The installers even helped with making the distinction of leaving one building and entering another by changing the color pop in the hallways.

What are the colors?

* Clayburn – Citrus Orange
* Mathews – Saxony Blue
* Pate – Calypso Rose
* Nicholas – Paradise Green
* Palmer – Kimono Violet
* Davidson – Cheerful Yellow

The buildings were not the only area updated. The south parking lot, torn out and replaced with concrete containing a fiber mesh, is ready for students! The fiber mesh increases the structural integrity of the concrete while also making it slip-resistant. A garbage dumpster is now located close to the buildings in the new lot.

While we have more items on our list of Complex wants, we hope everyone likes the new changes.

The Peru State College theatre, originally constructed in 1921, will see many changes in the upcoming months. This major renovation will include removal of part of the existing building which holds the lobby, stairways, restrooms and costume shop. The new, larger addition will include the following:

* Main floor and second floor lobby
* Costume and prop workshop
* Dressing rooms
* Green room
* Larger bathrooms
* Upgrades to HVAC, acoustics, audio, rigging, lighting and seating
* Extending the stage

Improvements to the exterior will include:

* Addition of the Sesquicentennial Plaza (Happy 150th Peru State!)
→ This will include a lovely open space capable of holding outdoor events
* Addition of the Landscape Screening Project
→ This will help to present a more attractive “front door” to the campus

Total cost for this venture is $7.8 million. The Peru State College Foundation is actively raising $600,000 towards the renovation. For information on supporting the theater renovation, contact the Foundation at 402-872-2304 or

The theatre is located adjacent to the Hoyt Science building, which is the backstage wall for the theater. The original building includes an auditorium space with a main floor and balcony, as well as a three-story attachment to the south that houses the primary circulation for the building. A major remodel took place in 1968, which included an interior re-configuration to try to control the acoustics of the original building. Unfortunately, at that time a common approach to such facilities was to create an acoustically dead space and rely on artificial sound reinforcement to provide sound throughout the space. The 1968 addition introduced a mechanical system, scenery shop, a rounded plaster motif with arched doorways and a colonnade at the existing entry.

Improvements since the 1968 remodel have been smaller in nature, consisting of stage equipment and lighting replacements, an audio system, mechanical system upgrades, and other fixes as they became necessary. The existing facility is utilized for Theater performances, choral festivals, band clinics, concerts, lectures and classes as well as many other functions.

Project Team:

 * Architect: Architectural Design Associates
 * Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Advanced Engineering Systems
 * Interior Design: Office Interiors and Design
 * General Contractor: Rogge General Contractors, Inc.
 * Acoustic Design: Dominique J. Cheenne, PhD, with C&C Consultants
 * Civil Engineering: Civil Design Group
 * Audio, Visual, Performance Design: Diversified Design Group

On Wednesday, December 12, work started on new lighting for the Complex Quad area. McKay Landscape Lighting out of Omaha has created a design that will produce a more welcoming environment, along with generating more light along the walkways than is currently present.

Future lighting includes bistro lights, similar to the photo below from McKay’s work at Duchesne Academy in Omaha. The lights will radiate from a central pole that McKay will install, out to the surrounding buildings and trees.

Bistro lights

The plan also includes installing copper down-lights in the trees, which will shine down on the walks, and copper spotlights shining into the trees. This will highlight some of the campus’ oaks while supplying much-needed illumination in some darker areas. All lights are LED’s with a 50,000 hour life.

We are very excited to see the result!

McKay Landscape Lighting has received the First Place Best of Omaha award for the sixth year in a row. Houzz (an online community about architecture, interior design and landscaping design) has also recognized McKay as a Best of Houzz in design and service seven years in a row.

McKay has completed work on the Complex courtyard and has also installed copper up-lights and down-lights in the tree filled area in front of  TJ Majors. The trees in the TJ Majors location have all had at least one (two in the bigger trees) copper up-light installed. The two large trees next to the sidewalk in front of TJ have had down-lights installed and shine on the walkway.

The lighting in both areas is an attractive addition.

Neal Hall as seen from the Complex

The end of an era has arrived at Peru State. The demolition of Neal Hall is underway.

Neal Hall was constructed in 1967 as part of the Centennial Complex on land that was originally owned by the Clayburn family. The steel and glass structure was (at the time) an innovative design with 360 degree views of the Complex and the park-like area where Neal Hall stood. Though the original intent for the building was a dining area for the Complex, Neal Hall served the campus in many capacities.

In the 1980’s Pizza Hut opened in the building. After a few years, the Pizza Hut closed and the downstairs space was leased to the telemarketing firm ITI. Ruboshke’s restaurant moved in to the upstairs space and was there for four years. Ruboshke’s was owned by the parents of Kelly Adams, who works in the Peru State College’s daycare (Kelly is the “ke” of Ruboshke’s). Kelly said that when her parents had the Ruboshke’s on campus they had a large arcade complete with the major games of the times. She also fondly recalls the junior high dances held in Neal Hall, complete with disco ball!

Ruboshke’s closed in the late 80’s and no other business occupied the upstairs of Neal Hall. ITI remained on the lower floor until they left in 1999. It was then Neal Hall became a storage facility for the campus.

Though we are sad to see the building go, it is necessary. During the era Neal Hall was constructed, a nation-wide drift from traditional craftsmanship to an assembly process took place. The result? The characteristics of many building materials were not taken into consideration, thus, creating the shrinkage and durability of concrete frames and poor quality cement. With this in mind, the decision to demolish Neal Hall was made.

Dr. John Freeman Neal, for whom the building is named, was a member of the original committee to start a college in Peru. He was a financial sponsor to the college and a frequent contributor to the medical journals of the time. In the September 1913 Medical Review, Dr. Neal wrote, “It is hard to teach some people to live according to the rules of common sense. Do we live according to them ourselves?”


Al Wheeler Activity Center Retrofit 
(completed August 2016)

Overview: As Peru State College prepares to celebrate its Sesquicentennial anniversary next year, the oldest campus in Nebraska strives to implement environmental procedures that will sustain the college in the future. In 2013 an energy audit was conducted on the campus facilities in order to evaluate each building and identify energy improvement projects. One such recommendation was to retrofit existing interior and exterior lighting fixtures to energy-efficient light emitting diode bulbs (LED). LED bulbs use less power (watts) relative to the amount of light generated and also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by saving energy.

The Al Wheel Activity Center recently completed a lighting retrofit which replaced 109 (320-watt) metal halide fixtures with energy-efficient 185-watt LED bulbs. This facility is generally in use for 18-20 hours per day, so this project should yield an attractive return on investment. The total cost savings over the life of the lights is estimated to be $75,833 above their cost, and the project will pay for itself in approximately 23 months (cost of bulbs and ballasts). This does not include the energy rebate that the college will receive from the power company of over $7,700. Finally, and most important for the end-users of the facility, lighting levels were boosted significantly.

Electrical Contractor: Haco Electric
Energy Partner: OPPD

This table shows the return on investment that switching to LED lighting in the Al Wheeler Activity Center provides. Because of longer life, excellent warranty, fewer parts and less preventative maintenance the campus will also save on bulb replacement and repair costs.

Environmental Savings Due to Switching to LED Lighting

Life Cycle Air Pollution Reduction 1,840,101 Lbs. of CO2
Air Pollution Reduction 159.59 Number of cars removed from the road for one year.
Air Pollution Reduction 21,402 Equivalent number of trees.
Electricity Saved 108.4 Number of homes powered per year.
Gas Saved 93,887 Gallons per year.

Front of Hoyt

Overview: Renovation of the Chemistry lab rooms (218, 219, 221, 222, 304, 305, 313 and 314) in the Hoyt Science building will include a complete removal of the existing countertops and installation of epoxy resin laboratory countertops. The completed project will feature new countertops, drop-in epoxy resin sinks with beehive overflow, four inch backsplashes where applicable and epoxy resin shelving to replace the plastic laminate shelving in rooms 304 and 313. Epoxy resin tops are non-porous and have excellent resistance to most acids, alkalies and solvents and are heat resistant under normal use. The $50,000 project will be completed by start of the Spring Term, January 2017.

Project Team:

Contractor: Innovative Laboratory Systems, Inc.
Electrical Contractor: Haco Electric

Campus Gateway

Park Avenue Campus Entrance and Roadway Improvements
Overview: This is a joint project between Peru State College, Peru State College Foundation and the City of Peru. The Park Avenue improvements sought to correct a dangerous corner and strengthen the main campus entry, as outlined in the 2012 Campus Master Plan. The scope of work included the installation of new curbs and gutters, benches, a wider walking path and landscaping extending the length of Park Avenue. A new parking lot for commuters and visitors was created, including a drop-off/pick-up area. Sustainable features include decorative LED lighting to brighten the walkway between campus and residence halls; over 3,500 drought-tolerant perennials and grasses as well as over 475 shrubs native to the area and over 100 trees consisting of Bur, Shingle and American Dream Oak and Redbuds were planted. Compact and oval in form, Rugged Charm Maples now line Park Avenue. In autumn the bold foliage will show off a rich mix of yellow, orange and bright red leaves. In order to manage storm water runoff, bio-retention basins were created along Park Avenue. Storm water is directed to these shallow basins and then percolates through layers of sand, aggregate and compost. The infiltration process and absorption by plant roots remove pollutants from the flow stream. The Park Avenue project will be completed at a cost of approximately $3 million.

Project Team:

  • Architect: The Clark Enersen Partners
  • Traffic, Surveying and Geotechnical Engineering: Schemmer Architects | Engineers | Planners
  • General contractor: Nemaha Landscape Construction
  • Softscape Installation: Nebraska Nursery & Color Gardens


  • NSCS Board Approval: April 20, 2012
  • Construction Began: June 1, 2015

New Paint for the Business and Financial Aid Office
You may notice a change if you visit the Business or Financial Aid offices. Rearranged office furniture, some removed completely, along with new paint have freshened up the area. The entry area is more inviting, and a couple of chairs have been placed for those waiting to talk to either office.
There is still a bit more work to complete, and the individual offices are slated to be painted as available.