Summer Campus Improvement Projects Greeting New, Returning Students

Photo of construction work at the new Scully-Rhodes Plaza

Scully-Rhodes Plaza project is substantially complete and usable as students return to campus. This central corridor campus improvement project is part of an effort to upgrade the central corridor and make it more aesthetically pleasing. A water feature will be added to this area later in the fall.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Aug. 21, 2008 – Work has been ongoing in a number of areas on campus this summer as Southeast Missouri State University prepares for students returning for the start of fall 2008 semester classes which begin Aug. 25.

Work is under way on a new 82,000-square-foot residence hall being built between Vandiver Hall and Houck Field House near the entrance to the campus at Broadway and Henderson streets. Footings and foundation walls have been built, underground utility work has been completed and construction on the main portion of the building is set to begin this fall, said Bruce Skinner, director of Residence Life. Construction will continue throughout the year, with an anticipated completion date of July 2009.

The new $23.2 million residence hall will include a ground-level locker room that will open to Houck Field that will be used for the University’s football and soccer programs. Until now, the Southeast football team has used the basement in the Student Recreation Center South across the street from Houck Stadium as dressing facilities for games. The players take shuttle buses to locker rooms in the Rosengarten Athletic Complex after games.

The current new residence hall design calls for an 82,000-square-foot, L-shaped structure expected to house 306 beds. The building will feature a suite-style community design with double occupancy student rooms connected by shared bathrooms. Skinner says the building will have multiple small living rooms throughout, a large game room and a laundry room. Study lounges will be located on each floor, and a dining facility will be located on the first floor. A series of paved courtyards that will include an outdoor eating area will be constructed in the open area between the new residence hall and Vandiver Hall, he said.

In addition to work on the new residence hall, renovation was completed this summer to convert Henderson House at 373 N. Henderson into a residence hall. Henderson House’s apartments were converted into double occupancy residence hall rooms and are ready for move-in, Skinner said. Student rooms in Henderson Hall are larger than other residence halls on campus and are similar to efficiency apartments, without the kitchen, he said. The average Henderson Hall room is approximately 250 square feet. Each room has its own bathroom which is only accessible through the student room and not any other room or common area. In addition, all the rooms have new furniture, including loftable beds, new carpet, paint, lighting, finishes and fire alarm system. Every room in Henderson Hall also has its own microfridge unit, and the laundry room, vending area and main building lounge have been renovated as well, he said. 

The University also has made improvements to Dearmont Hall over the summer. More than 136 portable, stand-alone air conditioning units have been installed throughout the residence hall. Installation of the units in Dearmont’s D wing has been completed and now join 51 other units installed in A2 and A3 wings last summer, Skinner said. The building now has 187 portable, stand-alone units installed in all 10 wings of the building, he added.

On the north end of campus, work has been ongoing throughout the summer on the Scully-Rhodes Plaza project which will be substantially complete and usable as students return to campus this week. This central corridor campus improvement project was identified in October 2004 by the University’s Campus Planning and Beautification Committee. The work is part of an effort to upgrade the central corridor of campus that runs from Cheney Drive down steps directly adjacent to the power plant, north along the edge of Parker Commons, terminating in the area bounded by Magill, Rhodes, Scully and the east end of the Dempster parking lot. The goal of the project is to make the central corridor of the campus more aesthetically pleasing, improve traffic flow in the area, improve safety in the stair design, and to improve ADA accommodations. This is an extensive long-term project being completed in phases by University students who designed, managed and built the plaza. Final completion of a water feature and landscaping of planting beds in this area will occur later in the fall. 

Complementing the new Scully-Rhodes Plaza is a new asphalt overlay on the Dempster-Scully parking lot. Asphalt was poured on Aug. 14, the lot was re-striped Aug. 16, and it was reopened for parking on Aug. 18.

In addition to these new developments, the University also has completed a number of other projects over the summer. The general chemistry lab in Magill Hall was renovated and now has been configured into two labs – a traditional general chemistry lab in Room 214 and a qualitative analysis lab in Room 216. Room 216 now has ventilation hoods at every lab station, a safety upgrade from the prior lab configuration. In addition, both labs have been outfitted with SMART boards and projection systems.

The roofs on Towers South and West have been replaced, and more than 800 student residence hall rooms have been painted. Repairs were made to the University’s steam chiller, and Southeast Missouri State University-Sikeston received a new heating, air conditioning and ventilation system. Improvements continued on the third phase of the Kent Library Information Commons project and work was done on the air handling unit at Kent Library as well.

In addition, a variety of repairs were made and painting was done in Brandt Hall, and Houck Stadium was cleaned and pressure washed. Flooring upgrades were made in Crisp Hall of Nursing, Rhodes Hall, Kent Library, Scully and Dempster. Carpeted floors were cleaned and hard surface floors were scrubbed and recoated in the majority of campus buildings.

Work is under way on a new 82,000-square-foot residence hall being built between Vandiver Hall and Houck Field House.