Southeast Aquatic Center Moves One Step Closer to Construction

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Dec. 16, 2005 – An aquatic center requested by Southeast Missouri State University students moved a step closer to construction by action of the Board of Regents today.

The Board of Regents approved a final schematic design, budget, construction manager, construction timeline and funding structure for a Student Aquatic Center that will be built on the northwest corner of the Student Recreation Center on New Madrid Street.

The $8.2 million facility, tentatively scheduled to be completed by April 2007,  will include a lap pool and several recreational water amenities.

The conceptual design was developed by Hastings and Chivetta, a company with extensive experience in the design of aquatic centers. In September, the Board approved a conceptual design and budget for the Southeast aquatic center. University officials say student needs, operational efficiency and budget implications were considered in the design process.

The board today selected Paric Corp. for construction management services on the project based on its track record with the University on the New Hall and Towers remodeling projects, said Dr. Dennis Holt, vice president for administration and enrollment management.

“Both these projects came in on time and within budget,” he said. “Paric also offered insights on innovative construction techniques and has had considerable previous experience on projects similar to the aquatic center project in the St. Louis area.”

Holt said the agreement for construction services was reached after Paric demonstrated its willingness to reduce construction management costs by using an independent estimator and sharing University space and services.

He said several University projects have been successfully accomplished using this approach. Construction managers can reduce the risk of unanticipated costs, improve specification and evaluation of bid packages and provide expert oversight of construction, he said.

In related action, the Board today approved an $8.3 million funding structure for the Student Aquatic Center, including issuing long-term bonds through the Missouri Development Finance Board. A portion of a $2 per credit hour general fee increase approved by the Board in April will be used to fund debt service on the project. The fee began with the fall 2005 semester and will increase by $2 for each of the following four years, Holt said. Four areas benefit from the general student fee increase, including the Student Aquatic Center.

The request for construction of the aquatic center and other improvements in campus life as well as approval for the increase in general fees came from the University’s Student Senate in February.

University officials say a recommendation will be made on the allocation of the fiscal 2007-2010 general fee revenue as financing structures for the Aquatic Center bonds are explored with the underwriter.

Construction documents will be prepared later this month, bonds will be issued in April or May and construction will begin in May, University officials said.