Renovated Magill Hall Ushers in New Era of Discovery


by News Bureau on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 23, 2013 – Science students at Southeast Missouri State University will learn in a modern, updated Magill Hall when classes start Aug. 26.

After two years, major renovation work and construction of a three-story addition, Magill Hall now offers a state-of-the-art, first-rate learning environment for courses taught in Southeast’s College of Science, Technology and Agriculture.

Renovation and new construction totaling $22 million have been completed this summer. Work was funded with $18 million in bond proceeds. Grants received from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education provided a portion of the remaining $4 million. A grant from the National Institute of Justice will be used to provide equipment for the new forensic chemistry lab.

The building on the north campus has been renovated in its entirety and a three-story addition on the north side of the original structure has been built, offering expanded classroom space.

“The benefits resulting from the reconstruction of the Magill Hall of Science will be realized for many years beyond 2013,” said Dr. Chris McGowan, dean of the College of Science, Technology and Agriculture. “The increased space and state-of-the-art equipment added during this renovation will allow Southeast Missouri State University to continue to attract top-notch faculty and greater numbers of students interested in entering the fields of biology, chemistry, agriculture, physics, engineering physics and environmental sciences.”

Doors to the building will open when fall classes begin later this month. Alumni and the public are invited to tour the new facilities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, during Homecoming weekend.

Renovations have been made to both the building’s exterior and interior. Exterior renovation to the building has included window replacement, masonry restoration and roof replacement. The exterior walls of the facility have been furred out and insulated. The exterior improvements, combined with the installation of contemporary energy efficient mechanical systems, are expected to have a significant impact on the thermal performance of the building and result in a significant reduction of operational costs for the facility, said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration.

The interior of the building has been entirely renovated. Classes continued during construction as portions of the building were closed in phases to allow work to proceed. Interior work allowed for the complete remediation of all hazardous materials within the existing facility, both the Americium 241 contamination that occurred many years ago and the abatement of all asbestos containing materials. The renovation also provided the opportunity to reorganize the previous floor plans.

In order to facilitate the renovation process and alleviate the shortage of overall space, a contiguous addition was built on the north side of the building. The three-story, new addition, houses a computer lab, with mechanical and electrical space on the first floor. The second floor has two lecture rooms and a small conference area. The third floor is entirely devoted to mechanical space for housing new air handling equipment. The mechanical equipment is serving the new addition and all of the spaces in Magill Hall, according to Lisa Howe, Facilities Management project manager.

Updates to the building were necessary as many of the existing systems had outlived their useful life and required replacement, according to Mangels. This included the complete replacement of all mechanical and electrical systems within the building, she said.

The original Magill Hall building was comprised of four levels containing 64,450 gross square feet. The four floors consisted of a partial basement used primarily for mechanical equipment and storage, a first and second floor dedicated to instructional space and a small penthouse level containing space for mechanical equipment.

Over time, the building had undergone some modifications and improvements, most significantly, those made to science labs over the past five years. Thanks to funding from federal grants and student fees, renovations have been made to three chemistry laboratories, two physics laboratories and two biology laboratories partially funded from a Title III federal grant.

It is estimated that, during the 2013-2014 academic year, 7,000 students will receive their science education in Magill Hall – an increase of more than 8.5 percent as a result of additional space. Furthermore, an increased number of undergraduate and graduate students will be able to work with faculty in Magill’s expanded and enhanced research labs, McGowan said.