Regents Okay Services to Complete Greek Housing Master Plan

by News Bureau on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 21, 2011 –The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today authorized Southeast officials to contract for architectural and engineering services to complete a Greek Housing master plan and assess related utility infrastructure needs.

Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration, told the Board that Southeast’s current housing for Greek students constructed in the 1960s features double occupancy rooms that fail to meet the needs of upperclass students who often seek more privacy and amenities. Southeast’s current Greek housing is on the north end of campus near the Towers Complex.

The creation of a new Greek Village would help the University meet three important housing goals, she said.

First, it would allow the University to maintain the availability of private rooms in other residence hall facilities similar to the number available in fiscal 2007. Second, a new Greek Village would free up space in the current Greek housing buildings for Southeast’s learning communities that are currently housed in Southeast’s residence halls. The current Greek housing buildings are designed for small group living and would be an ideal location for academic learning communities, Mangels said.

Third, creating a new Greek Village would allow for future renovation of Southeast’s older residence halls, such as Cheney Hall, which was built more than 70 years ago. With new housing available in a Greek Village, the University could take older residence halls offline for renovations or use them for other appropriate programs.

The Regents today approved a timeline to begin a Greek Housing Master Plan process that calls for a firm to be identified in November to assist with the project. The process will include input from Greek alumni, Residence Life and Campus Life staff, and current Greek chapters.

“The development of new Greek Housing must include significant input and active involvement by members of the Southeast Greek alumni community,” said Dr. Bruce Skinner, director of residence life. “The purpose of this planning process would be to engage Greek chapters, both locally and through their headquarters, for input in any future housing.”

He said housing size, estimated between 20 and 30 beds per chapter, community spaces and funding arrangements will be discussed in detail. A partnership between the University and Greek chapters will need to be agreed upon through dialogue with Greek organizations, she said.

Mangels said that while the University is expanding utility infrastructure to accommodate a new residence hall near the Seabaugh Building, an assessment of utility infrastructure needed for a possible future Greek housing development can be completed as well.

During the spring, work will be done with alumni and students to develop possible housing concepts and to determine the level of financial commitment chapters and Greek headquarters are willing to contribute. The timeline calls for the a Greek Housing Master Plan, including possible housing options and financial modeling, to be complete by next fall. At that time, the plan will be reviewed with the University’s administration, Greek organizations and the Board of Regents.