The groundwork has begun on the new student center thanks to lead donations from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation and the Sunderland Foundation. The Dane G. Hansen Foundation, headquartered in Lucas, provided $200,000 in discretionary funds to SATC which the college used toward the student center. The college wrote the grant request with the student center in mind last year. The grant was part of a larger support pledge from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation to bolster the college which serves part of the Foundation’s service area in northwest Kansas. Along with a donation of $250,000 from the Sunderland Foundation, headquartered in Overland Park, KS, the college was able to build a capital campaign to enhance the campus community. The addition will include a student commons area, a campus bookstore, and a dining area with fresh vending options. The original estimates were just under $700,000; however, prices for building materials have continued to rise, and Nichols said we wanted to secure the materials and contract prices.

Salina Area Technical College’s Board of Trustees approved Construction bid of $1,075,000 to build a new student center onto the west side of Building A. Salina Tech president Greg Nichols said that “students have expressed a desire for some much-needed amenities on campus, such as places for dining and gathering spaces.” The college previously had a location, called “The Flamingo Lounge,” in Building A, but was demolished as part of a major renovation project more than a decade ago. “A student center is an important part of the college experience,” according to vice president of student services Jennifer Callis. “We have many more students on campus these past few years and our space is limited.”

Since arriving in 2016, Nichols stated, “enrollment has continued to grow, and is up nearly 50 percent in the past five years.” With the need being so great, the Salina Area Technical College Education Foundation began fundraising for the project early in 2021. The college secured another large donation from the Pestinger family of Salina to kick off the construction phase. There have been over 40 donations received toward the student center thus far, but additional funds are needed to complete the project.

Contact Greg Nichols at (785) 309-3182 or for more information about supporting students at SATC.