CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 26, 2014 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a list of high priority major capital renovation projects to be completed over the next two to three years to upgrade the Show Me Center to modern arena standards.
The list of projects, totaling $9.49 million, include infrastructure and building components that are original to the building, which opened in 1987, and are beyond their useful life for today’s arena events. The high priority items include improvements to the facility’s telescopic seating, scoreboard system, sound and lighting systems, roof, rigging grid, front meeting rooms and parking lots.
Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration, outlined to the Board the scope of work to be conducted following a review of necessary renovations by Convergence Design. The Board authorized Southeast’s administration to pursue design development services for major capital renovations at the Show Me Center at their February meeting. Convergence was hired and partnered with a team of consultants who specialize in the planning and design of spectator facilities. They evaluated the scope of work and magnitude of cost for renovations considered the highest priority, along with suggestions for secondary priority projects, Mangels said.
Mangels said construction will be completed during two phases beginning in summer 2015. The building’s telescopic seating and scoreboard, sound system and interior lighting systems will be replaced in summer 2015.The roof of the Show Me Center and the Student Recreation Center, which is contiguous to it, also will be replaced next summer, she said.
The north parking lot will be replaced and site lighting, rigging grid, fall arrest safety system and front meeting rooms will be upgraded in summer 2016.
Remaining projects on the high priority list will be reevaluated with updated cost figures after the first two phases are complete. This will allow the University to assess funding remaining after bids are let on the initial projects and to reassess priorities at that time.
Mangels detailed the need for improvements with several of the high priority projects.
The Show Me Center’s retractable seating is original to the building. The support structure and decking welds are failing, and the manufacturer no longer makes the style of seats in the building, so replacement pieces are not available, she said. Replacement seating will incorporate wider seats in some sections, removable ADA seating platforms, aisle handrails and bench seating in the arena’s west end, Mangels said.
The center hung scoreboard also is original to the building, she said. The system is based on incandescent bulb technology which is not energy efficient, and replacement parts are no longer available for the system. Mangels says a replacement scoreboard will have video capabilities, on par with those at other Ohio Valley Conference schools, and will either be center hung or will be an end wall video scoreboard.
Mangels said the building’s roof is 22 years old, and deterioration is allowing water damage, particularly on the south side. In addition, she said most of the north parking lot’s original asphalt paving is gone and loose aggregate remains.
Based on construction schedules, high priority projects totaling $5.62 million will be completed in summer 2015, with the remainder totaling $2.57 million in summer 2016. The preliminary cost estimate for the high priority projects includes a 20 percent contingency, anticipating that construction may be phased because of use of the building and availability of funding.
A combination of one-time funds, currently available, and an internal loan from the University’s fund balance will be used to finance the projects, Mangels said. An internal loan from the University’s fund balance of about $3.1 million in Fiscal 2015 and $2 million in fiscal 2016 would be required based on current construction estimates. This would require annual payments of about $340,000 over 15 years, she said.
The Show Me Center construction was a joint venture among the University, the City of Cape Girardeau and the State of Missouri. Operation of the Show Me Center is the responsibility of the University. The facility is home to Southeast’s Division I men’s and women’s basketball programs, and hosts a variety of University, private and entertainment events. While the University has completed some upgrades to the facility since its opening, including the addition of the east exterior ticket booth and the stair and patio area on the north side of the building, the majority of the original components remaining in the building are in need of upgrading.