Board Okays Resolutions with Intent to Issue Bonds to Fund $26.75 Million Project
by News Bureau on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 21, 2011 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved the feasibility of the University constructing a new residence hall on the north end of campus to open in fall 2013 and authorized the administration to contract for architectural and engineering services.
The Board also approved two resolutions declaring the University’s intent to issue bonds to provide construction proceeds to fund the project. A bond issue, however, would require future Board approval.
The approximately 250-bed residence hall will provide sufficient space to meet current demand for on-campus housing and residence hall space to accommodate private room demand for upper class students, said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration. The facility will be built on an existing surface parking lot on the east side of Greek Drive, adjacent to the football practice field.
According to Treanor Architects, which evaluated potential sites, the site chosen will allow for a new five-story residence hall with terraced surface parking and approximately 50 additional new parking spaces.
Dr. Debbie Below, associate vice president and director of enrollment management said the need for more on-campus housing exists as a result of continued growing enrollment at Southeast. An average of 1,626 students enrolled annually in the beginning freshman class from 2004 to 2007, she said. In fall 2010 and the fall of this year, beginning freshmen enrollment exceeded 1,900.
New transfer student enrollment is increasing as well, she said, noting that in 2010 and this year, the number of transfer students seeking on-campus housing has increased by an average of 45 students over the previous three years.
Southeast’s Office of Admissions has deferred enrollment the past two years because of limited on-campus housing availability, and Below says the admissions deferral dates are occurring earlier each year to restrict enrollment of students requesting on-campus housing. The fall 2010 admissions deferral began Aug. 9, 2010, while fall 2011 deferral began July 8 this year. The University has published a June 1 deadline for fall 2012 and may begin the fall 2012 admissions deferral at that time due to limited housing availability, she said.
Dr. Bruce Skinner, director of Residence Life, said there is also a need for more private rooms on campus. In fiscal 2007, more than 200 students requested and were assigned to private rooms. A majority of these students were assigned to Dearmont Hall, one of the residence halls less popular with students. By assigning more private rooms to Dearmont, this freed up space in other more popular residence halls for new and returning students. However, since fiscal 2007, Southeast has been unable to meet the demand for private rooms, Mangels said, adding that this fall, less than 10 private rooms are available across all of Southeast’s residence halls.
Building a new residence hall, Mangels said, will require additional capacity in the north chiller plant. Preliminary options to meet this need include expansion of the existing north chiller plant or construction of a stand-alone plant to serve the Show Me Center area.
The estimated $26.75 million cost includes construction of both a residence hall and related parking, and a portion of north chiller plant upgrades. The remaining chiller plant upgrades, estimated at $1.7 million, would be paid from available local funds to benefit other campus facilities, Mangels said.
Annual revenue from housing contracts, meal plan commission and other residence hall revenues will be used to meet annual debt service on a proposed bond issue, Mangels said.