Regents Approve Construction of New Academic, Residence Hall Space at River Campus


Board Okays Cultural Arts Center Renovation to Accommodate Restroom Facilities

River Campus HallCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 14, 2012 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved construction of new academic and residence hall space at the River Campus.

The $23.6 million project will add 96,550 in gross square footage to the River Campus. Bids for sitework would be let in February, with the new facilities expected to be open for occupancy in fall 2014, said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration.

The new construction will be an L-shaped building running east and west parallel with Morgan Oak Street, and north and south on the same site line as the existing Seminary Building, Mangels said.

The first floor of the building will include about 30,000 square feet of space, with 22,000 square feet dedicated to academic programming. The new academic space will feature a choral rehearsal classroom, three sectional music classrooms, storage space for musical instruments and a choral library. The first floor also will include a 3,600-square-foot dance studio, which will allow the practice dance floor currently located in Parker gymnasium to be moved to the River Campus. The floor plan also calls for specialized classroom space needed by the Department of Theatre and Dance for accreditation purposes and a large general classroom for art education. Restroom facilities in this area will include changing areas and a training room for use by students in the dance or theatre classes, Mangels said.

To take advantage of the high ceiling height needed on the first floor for specialized classroom space, the northwest corner of the floor will include faculty offices and student practice rooms, with a 3,100-square foot mezzanine space, she said. The layout will allow for at least 16 spaces which are flexible in design and could be used as faculty offices, practice rooms or study areas depending on future growth, as well as gathering space for students and faculty, similar to Robert A. Dempster Hall’s second floor, Mangels said.

The remainder of the first floor will include a front desk and office for the residence hall component, and a kitchen and dining area for the food service component. The dining space will accommodate up to 120 people and serve as a dining space for residence hall students, retail sales and special event/catered activities, she said.

The building’s main entry will be on the south wing of the first floor, opening into the dining and residence hall reception area of the first floor. As discussed with the Board in October, this entry will be where the existing handball court is currently located. The existing handball court has been determined to be structurally unsound, Mangels said. She said the handball court will be architecturally mimicked in this building entrance along with a feature highlighting the history of the handball court and the seminary building. Bricks from the handball court that can be salvaged, especially those with markings, will be incorporated into the building’s inside corridor features.

Two floors of residence hall space, above the first floor of academic space, will accommodate 188 beds. The residence hall space will feature two types of room layouts, Mangels said. The first layout will feature four beds in two rooms, along with a small living area, kitchenette and bathroom facilities. The second option is more of a traditional apartment configuration with four single bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living/dining space and kitchenette.

The second and third floor residence hall space will include 38 two-bedroom four-bed units and nine four-bedroom units. Based on these layouts, the desired number of beds can be obtained in two floors instead of three as originally proposed in the conceptual design discussed with the Board in October, Mangels said. Each residence hall floor will feature two lounges and laundry facilities. The second floor will include 1,100 square feet of fitness space, and small music practice rooms will be included on both residential floors.

Mangels says the design will take advantage of the topography of the site by building an approximate 8,500-square foot basement area at the northeast corner of the site to house mechanical equipment, to serve as the service entrance to the building for delivery trucks, trash removal and maintenance personnel, and provide storage and freezer space for the dining facility. This area will be serviced by one of the building’s elevators, with access limited to certain University staff.

The $23.6 million cost estimate includes a parking area to accommodate up to 120 spaces, to be built on Southeast Missouri University Foundation owned property on the north side of Morgan Oak Street to serve students living in the new residence hall.

Mangels said the Board authorized Southeast’s administration in October to pursue conceptual design of a new building at the River Campus to meet the growing demand for instruction space for the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts and provide a housing option adjacent to the River Campus.

The University contracted with the Lawrence Group which worked with Residence Life staff and the director and chairs in the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts to finalize programmatic needs and housing room layouts. A building footprint was then established that met the programmatic need of the academic departments on the first floor and incorporated the optimal number of housing units into two floors above.

Bonds will be issued to finance the project, she said, adding annual revenues from housing contracts, meal plan commissions and other residence hall revenues will be used to meet debt service for the housing and dining component of the project, estimated at $16.4 million, Mangels said.

Additional tuition revenue from increased majors in the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts will fund the debt service needed for the academic space annual debt service, she said. No bonds will be issued without the Board’s approval, she added.

In related River Campus action, the Regents today approved an $814,405 renovation of the River Campus Cultural Arts Center to accommodate additional restroom facilities. The new restrooms will be built above the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center, with access from the west balcony landing. The new facilities will accommodate patrons seated on the balcony level during events in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall, Mangels said. Total cost of the project will be included in bond financing for the River Campus academic and housing expansion project.