Keeping an award-winning campus beautiful, one trash bag at a time

[Liberal First] Keeping an award-winning campus beautiful, one trash bag at a time



Clean-up is the name of the game on our campus! Our Saints family has worked hard since April on cleaning out different aspects of campus. We’ve “reclaimed” the northeast corner of campus, where a shelter belt provided a wind trap for trash and debris. Now it’s more attractive and safer for the many students and community members who use our connection trail system to walk to shopping destinations.

We continue to sort through storage and have been listing old items at the online auction site Purple Wave. There’s no reason to let old equipment age on campus when it is possible to clear out space and make good use of our resources at the same time. This approach is ongoing.

Now we are turning our attention to our old dorms, which for your years have become a catch-all for storage. I was walking some parents across campus the other day and having a wonderful conversation. The father of one of our students asked me what that building was used for.  After a long pause, I explained that was an old dorm that we now use for storage. 

He nodded his head but I could tell by his long face he was thinking “What in the world?!” The building is close to the heart of campus, near the current student living center and the student union. And he was absolutely right, why do we have an old building for the purpose of a catch-all? There is not a good answer, even when we consider the COVID pandemic, changes in leadership, and the real (but not THAT pressing) need for storage.

This is our next clean-up project as we look at repurposing this building and making it a critical part of our campus. An initial consultation with architects revealed encouraging news. The dorm would cost more to tear down than it would to repurpose, and it is possible to make use of the structure for a reasonable cost. We are still exploring possibilities and needs, but it is a step in the right direction and one we intend to take.

SCCC has several major expansion projects completed or near the finish line. The Colvin Family Center for Allied Health has been up and running for more than a year and continues to provide a beautiful and functional site for training future health occupations professionals. The Sharp Family Champions Center is being finished, with contractors installing restrooms and interior fixtures. And our new Grain Elevator Operator site is coming together, as is the biofuels lab and our renewed agriculture and livestock judging program. 

I know clean-up is not exciting, but it’s important as we prepare for even more new initiatives. The prospect of the CDL/truck driving expansion is near, and will occupy some of the space that we have focused on. The “old dorms” is slated for the next big push, starting with — no surprise — cleaning out the rooms that have been filled with miscellaneous items and old equipment. 

Seward County Community College has such a beautiful campus. It’s one of the most well-constructed and landscaped in the state, and even won an architectural award when it was first built. Fifty-two years later,  we are increasingly “taking ownership” and making sure that we show the best version of our campus every single day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR —  Brad Bennett is the president of Seward County Community College. He is in New York City this week for a community college conference, and is certain that SCCC has the Big Apple beat in terms of everyday maintenance and pride. Reach out to him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..