By: Kayla Bremer
Students and tourists will have a new and interactive way of learning about Nebraska when they visit the Centennial Mall area.
State and local leaders celebrated Nebraska's birthday by announcing a new technological tool that will be part of the renovation project.
Fourth graders who visit the capitol every year for field trips will be able to scan QR codes that will take them directly to websites on their smart phones or computer tablets.
"This system will initially be driven by QR, these things, quick response code technology that will allow mall visitors to access information, images and more in depth stories," Lynn Johnson said.
These QR codes will be on tiles laid along the renovated Centennial Mall's "Spirit of Nebraska" pathway running from "K" to "R" streets in downtown Lincoln.
"We call it 'Nebraska Education on Location' and it will provide the ability to access notables, historic people and so on throughout the state from now to permanence," Roger Ludemann said.
Centennial Mall is an area consisting of seven blocks that connects the Capitol to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's campus.
The renovation will cost nearly 10 million dollars but project leaders say they've raised 75 percent of that cost through a statewide fundraiser. If the rest of the money is raised, construction would begin in the next year.
Lincoln Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson says the goal is to have the project completely finished by Nebraska's 150–year anniversary in 2017.
"In addition, plans are underway to provide WiFi service for the entire area as well as enhanced broadcast support systems for televising local events and festivals," Mayor Chris Beutler said.
Every year 35,000 fourth graders visit the area.
Other new features of the renovation will include multiple fountains and plaza areas.