SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri State University’s (MSU) main Springfield campus is in various planning, design and construction phases for $123 million worth of construction projects. Several smaller projects will wrap up in time for the start of fall classes next week, while some larger projects have yet to break ground.
Over the past several years, the campus has seen a number of major improvements, including ones made to the athletic and recreation facilities completed in 2014, followed by the new welcome center and O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center, completed in time for fall 2015 classes.
This year, the campus will see the completion of a $1.6 million safe room, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It will be the first tornado shelter of its kind on campus. Doug Sampson, university architect and director of planning, design and construction, told the Springfield News-Leader that the campus has designated areas for people to take shelter, but this will be the first shelter area built to withstand a tornado. Scheduled for completion by year’s end, the shelter will be large enough to accommodate 1,200 people.
Other smaller projects being completed this year include improvements to fire suppression systems, elevator and bathroom renovations, and accessibility improvements throughout campus.
Another major project, scheduled for completion in approximately one year, is the expansion and renovation of Glass Hall, which houses the university’s College of Business. The project will add 40,000 square feet to the existing 170,000-square-foot structure as well as renovate existing public spaces such as the building’s corridors and restrooms. Chicago-headquartered Perkins + Will is serving as the consultant on the project, while locally based DeWitt & Associates Inc. is the general contractor.
Construction is scheduled to start next month on the renovation of Ellis Hall, home to the Department of Music. It, too, is slated to take roughly a year to complete. The project includes advance work, including asbestos abatement and relocating the faculty and staff to a temporary location at Glen Isle Shopping Center, reported the Springfield News-Leader.
In October, the university will break ground on the new 36,000-square-foot Taylor Health and Wellness Center. Designed by St. Louis-headquartered Hastings + Chivetta, the Taylor Health and Wellness Center will include a pharmacy, lab and women’s clinic as well as existing health and wellness services. It will feature a drive-up pharmacy window as well as landscaping to connect the facility the university’s new welcome center, according to the project’s website. It will also be located on the site of the existing Taylor Health and Wellness Center, and current health and wellness operations will be relocated to make way for demolition of the building.
Students advocated for the new center by voting to create a health fee so that the university’s construction department can sell bonds for the project, Sampson told the Springfield News-Leader. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.