Regents Prioritize Renovation Projects for Possible Senate Bill 723 Funding

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Grauel Building

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 28, 2014 – Renovations to Grauel Building, Brandt Hall and Crisp Hall top a prioritized list of renovations approved today by the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents to receive possible state funding under Senate Bill 723.

Repairs to Grauel Building are estimated at $3.5 to $4 million, Brandt Hall at $3 to $3.5 million and Crisp Hall at $2 to $2.5 million, said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration. The list will now be submitted to the Governor’s Office.

Senate Bill 723, approved during the 2014 state legislative session, increased the state bonding capacity by $600 million. Of that, $200 million is designated for higher education maintenance and repair projects and $400 million for other state facilities.

Governor Jay Nixon is planning to introduce a supplemental appropriation bill in the 2015 legislative session to authorize the issuance of bonds to fund $200 million in higher education maintenance and repair projects, Mangels said.  The $200 million would be allocated proportionately between two-year and four-year institutions.

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Brandt Hall

If funded, Southeast would receive $10.08 million in maintenance and repair dollars, Mangels said. The bill specifies that bond proceeds issued due to increased bonding capacity be used only for repair or renovation of existing buildings and facilities – not for construction of new buildings, the addition of square footage to existing buildings or the purchase of furniture or fixtures.

The Governor’s Office asked each institution to submit a prioritized list of projects to be funded by their allocation.

Grauel Building is 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. These upgrades are necessary for accreditation of the communication disorders and mass media programs.

“As one of two mass media programs in Missouri to hold external program accreditation from ACEJMC (Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications), it is imperative that our classroom, lab, and faculty facilities be renovated to allow us to practice what we teach with regard to multimedia and converged mass communication,” said Dr. Karie Hollerbach, chair of the Department of Mass Media.

Dr. Jim Dufek, professor of mass media, said, “The renovations would bring us up to speed to prepare our students for the profession.”

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Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing

Hollerbach said other building renovations at Southeast have been well received and have boosted the programs and personnel housed in those facilities.

“I look forward to what may be in store if Southeast is able to re-imagine and re-design the Grauel Building,” she said.

Brandt Hall is the University’s second 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 are outdated, windows are not energy efficient and safety upgrades are needed, Mangels said.

Dr. Diana Bruns, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology, said, “Brandt could be a wonderful building.”

Updated facilities, she said, could certainly serve as a marketing tool to recruit students to the criminal justice and sociology programs.

The University’s third priority is renovation of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in Crisp Hall to support the building’s renovated teaching and lab spaces and to bring the building into compliance with ADA guidelines.

If funding for the projects is approved, detailed engineering plans would be completed and cost estimates would be approved by the Regents before renovations proceed on any of the projects, Mangels said.

Any remaining funds would be used to address campus-wide infrastructure repairs, she 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.