Assemblyman Joe Dini, D-Yerington, may be leaving politics, but his influence will be remembered by students for generations.
An announcement during the groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday on the Western Nevada Community College campus revealed the new library and student center will be named in his honor.
"I just think it's a terrific honor to have my name on that facility," Dini said. "I really appreciate the regents and Dr. (Carsol) Lucey and everybody who made this happen."
The $6.9 million needed to build the 35,000 square-foot center was appropriated by the 1999 Nevada Legislature while Dini served as speaker of the house.
"I made sure we placed our money where the needs were," he explained. "The college certainly needed a new library -- it was a priority."
Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa said it was "more than fitting" to name the center after Dini.
"Joe has dedicated his life to public service -- what a great dedication that has been," she said. "He's done a tremendous job of the years representing all of us in Nevada."
In the 36 years Dini has served in his office, he said he has seen universities and colleges grow throughout the state.
"A good library makes a school," he said. "It is time for WNCC to get a modern library. As the state grows, we need to make sure these institutions have the necessary money put into them for growth."
It will feature four study rooms, a video presentation room and a hands-on computer teaching room. One floor will be dedicated to student activities, which are expected to include student government offices, a lounge area, game room, fitness area and Internet cafe.
"This new library will provide students with books, technology and space that will greatly enhance their college experience and stimulate learning," said Ken Sullivan, director of library and media services. "We're all looking forward to next spring when the facility opens."
The library should open in spring 2003.
Dini, who also has a mental health facility in Sparks named for him, is retiring from politics this year.
He has plans to travel and support his son, George Dini, who is running to fill his father's position.
He will also visit the student center once it is complete.
"The only question is whether I'll visit the library or the lattes first."