Feasibility, Architectural Studies Progressing on Space Reconfigurations in Kent Library, Pacific, Grauel at Southeast

EVT-OlogieCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 22, 2014 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents Dec. 18 agreed to engage professional architectural and engineering services to redesign building layouts and decide on necessary improvements in four campus buildings – Kent Library, the International House, Pacific Hall and Grauel Building – rounding out the first phase of projects recommended by the Space Utilization Committee.

The Regents authorized feasibility studies and cost estimates for the work and directed University administration to continue working with users of these buildings to refine their future space needs. This information will be brought back to the Board to make final decisions on space reallocation before construction begins, said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration.

She said the renovations will require considerable logistical planning and staging since these buildings are occupied during the academic year and the work needed may not be completed during a summer break.

The Board heard a report on possible reconfiguration of the fourth floor of Kent Library, which formerly housed the Writing Center, to accommodate staff and support areas for Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction. This function has outgrown its current location in the University Center. The design goal would be to create computer spaces in Kent that can be multifunctional and used by other departments when not scheduled for tutoring sessions, Mangels said.

She said the project would focus on expanding space in the library that supports student learning and faculty development.  Old study carols along the east and west walls of the fourth floor could be remodeled into modern, open, secure student study spaces, she said.  In addition, some offices may be relocated to other locations on campus to allow for expanded office and lab spaces for the Office of Instructional Technology/Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, which provides instructional support services to Southeast faculty.

The Center for Faulkner Studies currently located on the library’s third floor could move to the library’s fourth floor. The space vacated by the Center for Faulkner Studies could be reconfigured, along with adjacent space used by the Office of Instructional Technology/Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, to meet the need for expanded office and lab space of this department, Mangels said.

The Regents also heard a recommendation to relocate the International Programs Office from a house at the top of College Hill, near Kent Library, to the bottom floor of Cheney Hall and to renovate and refocus Cheney as a multicultural themed residence hall.

“The location in the core of campus could bring visibility to international programs and activities,” Mangels said.

The Board also heard a recommendation to move the Intensive English Program, currently housed with International Programs, to Pacific Hall and to renovate the upper floors of Pacific for Intensive English Program staff and classrooms. All functions currently housed in Pacific, except for the State Historical Society and a portion of the Intensive English Program already housed in Pacific, could be relocated elsewhere on campus, she said.

The University then proposes to close the house currently housing International Programs and the Intensive English Program at the top of College Hill due to maintenance issues, Mangels said.

The Regents also considered space in Grauel Building and heard a recommendation to move mass media production space for publication of The Arrow newspaper and for film and video production to a separate location accessible to students who frequent these areas at night and on weekends. Mangels said the move is necessary because Grauel Building can no longer adequately accommodate the needs of three academic departments – Mass Media, Communication Disorders and English. Mass Media and Communication Disorders have accreditation visits in the next two to four years, and both departments have space needs that must be addressed at those visits. By relocating mass media production spaces, the remaining floors of Grauel could be reconfigured to accommodate the core academic space needs of all three departments, she said, including expansion of the Speech and Hearing Clinic, Mangels said.

In addition to the Phase I space utilization projects, the Board also received an overview of other capital projects it previously approved or are under review that must be coordinated. They include: ADA compliance projects and other work at the softball complex; construction of locker rooms for the tennis and track teams; structural repairs to the Houck Stadium south press box to be completed this summer; Capaha Field repairs to be completed this spring in conjunction with the City of Cape Girardeau’s Parks and Recreation Department; renovation of the Show Me Center to be completed during summer 2015 and summer 2016; and renovation of a building at 612/616 Broadway for a Creative Labs and Industries Incubator to be completed next spring.