Nixon Signs Legislation Paving Way for $10 Million in Renovations at Southeast

Harold O. Grauel Building

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 18, 2015 – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation earlier this month that contains funding for capital improvement projects at higher education campuses across Missouri, including $10 million in renovations at Southeast Missouri State University.

House Bill 19, signed into law June 5, provides $10.08 million in maintenance and repairs for Grauel Building, Brandt Hall of Music and Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing.

“We would like to thank the governor and the legislature for these very much needed dollars for deferred maintenance,” said Kathy Mangels, vice president for Finance and Administration. “This funding will allow Southeast to focus on renovation of academic buildings which are key to students having a first-class academic experience on our campus.”

Repairs to Grauel Building, which opened in 1967 at the corner of Normal and Pacific, are estimated at $3.5 to $4 million and will begin in summer 2016, Mangels said. Grauel Building houses the departments of Mass Media, English and Communication Disorders. A specific timeline for the work will be established after the Lawrence Group, architects for the project, complete design work, she said. Architectural plans and cost estimates will be considered by the University’s Board of Regents in the fall before the project is bid.

Funding for the project is part of a supplemental appropriations bill introduced in the 2015 legislative session authorizing the issuance of bonds to fund $200 million in higher education maintenance and repair projects.  The $200 million was allocated proportionately between two-year and four-year institutions. Southeast submitted a prioritized list of projects to be funded by this allocation with Grauel Building being the University’s first priority.

This project would include upgrading electrical service, increasing the capacity of the HVAC system, renovating clinic and classroom spaces, making modifications as needed to meet current ADA guidelines and replacing windows for better energy efficiency.

Plans for renovating Grauel come at the same time Southeast is planning for a new Center for Excellence in Mass Media, an innovative journalism laboratory being developed at 325 Broadway in partnership with Rust Communications and KFVS12. When the Center is complete, Southeast will relocate from Grauel The Arrow, Southeast’s student newspaper; and television facilities in Rose Theatre used to produce programming for WQWQ, the CW affiliate of KFVS12. These production facilities in Grauel, along with the space formerly occupied by Rage 103.7 KDMC which closed last summer, will be freed up. This will allow for the core academic space needs of all three departments, including the Speech and Hearing Clinic, to be reconfigured.

The departure of the production facilities from the building will pave the way for office space for faculty and teaching assistants in the Department of English and a voice and swallowing lab for the Department of Communication Disorders, which have been operating out of Pacific Hall, to rejoin their departments and operate under one roof in Grauel, Mangels said. While mass media production facilities shift to the Center for Excellence in Mass Media on Broadway, academic spaces and offices for faculty in the Department of Mass Media will remain in Grauel, Mangels said.

Mangels said the development of the Center for Excellence in Mass Media on Broadway offers a terrific opportunity to now adequately accommodate the needs of three academic departments in Grauel Building– 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.

“We are extraordinarily proud that Southeast is home to one of only two mass media programs in Missouri to hold external program accreditation from ACEJMC (Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications),” said Dr. Karie Hollerbach, chair of the Department of Mass Media.  “Southeast offers first-rate learning facilities, and we are extremely pleased that Grauel will join in these efforts as we continue to elevate our multimedia and converged mass communication program.”

Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing

Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing

The University’s second priority is renovation of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in Crisp Hall, located on Academic Drive just off Pacific Street. This work is needed to support the building’s renovated teaching and lab spaces and to bring the building into compliance with ADA guidelines.

Brandt Hall, located near the center of campus, is the University’s third maintenance and repair priority. Since the River Campus Center was completed and Memorial Hall has been renovated, several University departments have been relocated out of Brandt, leaving space for renovation of classrooms that can be used by the entire campus. The mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and windows need updating as do the safety systems, Mangels said.

Brandt Hall of Music

Any remaining funds would be used to address campus-wide infrastructure repairs, Mangels said. This would include exterior façade repairs, roof replacements and repair or replacement of sections of the utility tunnel system, which have deteriorated structurally and become overcrowded with utility pipes and conduit.