NORFOLK, Nebraska (KCAU) — Over the last five years, Northeast Community College leaders have raised funds for new facilities. Students such as first-year veterinarian technology major Tracy Kruse are excited to use these new buildings.

“The old building was actually a converted hog barn and so we had our labs in the old alleyways and it was pretty basic, but it was also accommodating,” Kruse said. “Our teachers worked the best they could with what they had, but compared to here it’s a palace.”

The new building has more labs and classrooms as well as a surgical suite. Kruse said the additions make the learning experience more efficient.

“This new facility has double the amount of kennels that we had at the last one, so we’re able to see more clients, more different cases, learn different techniques,” Kruse said.

School officials said the agriculture department includes more than 300 students across 13 programs and the enhanced technology will help the department keep growing.

Tara Smydra, the college’s dean of agriculture, technology, science and math said these new facilities would not be possible without community support.

“The community invests itself to us, so there is no way, we all know how expensive ag is today and we know how it’s never going to change,” Smydra said. “Things will always be costly, so without the community support, we wouldn’t be able to do the things that we do.”