Work begins on Union Bank location

Proposed design for the new Union Bank and Trust branch in the Nebraska Union. The branch will open in March on the north side of the Nebraska Union. (Courtesy image)
Proposed design for the new Union Bank and Trust branch in the Nebraska Union. The branch will open in March on the north side of the Nebraska Union. (Courtesy image)

A new contract with Union Bank and Trust Company is bringing additional changes to the Nebraska Union.

In March, the new Union Bank branch will open on the north side of the Nebraska Union, in what was the Rotunda Gallery. It replaces Wells Fargo, which has operated on the south side of the union.

Construction of the Union Bank space started the week of Oct. 27.

"Union Bank asked if we would consider allowing them to move into the art gallery space," said Charlie Francis, director of the Nebraska Unions. "We thought it was a good idea as it would consolidate all of our retail offerings into one area. It also means more foot traffic for the bank."

The University Libraries have agreed to provide exhibit space in Love Library to replace the Rotunda Gallery. Details on the library space are being determined. For more information, contact Melissa Sinner at or 402-472-0026.

Francis said the Nebraska Union has dedicated a wall by the Caffina Café to feature work by local artists.

When complete, the Union Bank design will match materials used in the recent $2.1 million renovation of the Nebraska Union's first floor.

"Changing the location also allows the union to offer continuous banking service through this transition," Francis said. "Starting construction now will allow Union Bank to open immediately as Wells Fargo closes at the end of February."

Plans for the Wells Fargo space on the south end of the union have not been finalized.

"We have some ideas for that space, but are not ready to announce them right now," Francis said.

Union Bank was chosen through a competitive bid process. Under the terms of the agreement, Union Bank provides UNL with $9.53 million over 11 years. It also provides Union Bank branch bank space in the Nebraska Union, eight ATMs across campus, license to use the UNL logo, the opportunity to support UNL student organizations and programming, and special account offerings for students, faculty and staff.

Union Bank also will commit $350,000 to renovate the new branch location in the Nebraska Union and $680,000 on marketing over the 11-year period.

Union Bank's plans include providing an online financial literacy program, a team of bank employees offering in-person financial education, and a Bank Professional Resource Bureau available to faculty and campus organizations.

UNL's agreement with its current banking partner, Wells Fargo Bank, concludes at the end of February. Current Wells Fargo account holders will not be required to change banks.

NCards will continue to function on campus as an identification card, for access to certain parts of campus and for deferred payment of purchases at on-campus vendors such as Subway, the University Bookstore, Runza and so on. Neither the new NCards issued to new faculty, staff and students, nor the replacement cards for existing cardholders will function as an ATM/debit card.

Along with construction of the new bank, Francis said furniture in the Nebraska Union food court is being updated. The new items will match furniture incorporated into the recent Nebraska Union renovation.

"All of the new furnishings will match when we are finished," Francis said. "And, we've added 80-inch televisions to meeting rooms on the east as well. The new technology allows you to just plug in a computer and go when you have a meeting."

For more information on the Nebraska Unions, go to

— Troy Fedderson, University Communications