Work to create 'front door' to university forces move

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A communications tower north of the Broadway and Henderson Avenue intersection is being relocated as part of the project to create an entrance to Southeast Missouri State University.

The university plans to build a new tower on campus behind International House, just northeast of Houck Field, and then tear down the antenna on Broadway after construction is complete, said Keith Kimmel, construction project manager for the university's facilities management department. The project is part of a $2.4 million plan to create a "front door" for the Southeast campus by widening streets, building sidewalks and erecting two monument signs to mark the university's entrance.

"Much of it is a cosmetic thing, I think," Kimmel said.

Southeast is accepting contracting bids on the antenna project until Friday. Kimmel said the university will know more about the cost of the antenna project after all of the bids have been submitted, but he estimated it will be in six figures. Work is scheduled to continue during the fall semester.

Currently, the communications tower holds cellular phone antennas for Cingular Wireless and AT&T, a university paging system and the Studio Transmitter Link dish for the area National Public Radio station, KRCU.

Roger Chisman, director of telecommunications at the university, said there is a possibility that cell phone customers could lose service briefly during the move.

"There probably will be some down time, but usually it's in the middle of the night for a few hours while the equipment is being moved," Chisman said. "But we really don't know yet because we haven't gotten far enough along to finalize any plans."

Dan Woods, general manager of KRCU, said station listeners should not notice any disruption during the transition. The STL dish, which the station uses to transmit signals from the on-campus studio to its broadcast location north of town, will be moved to its new campus location atop New Hall, just north of the KRCU studios on Henderson Avenue. This should happen within the next week or so.

"Whenever this tower thing happens we'll be out of the way and done," Woods said.

The KRCU studios at 338 N. Henderson Ave. also will move eventually to a new campus location as part of the overall construction project but will remain in place until sometime next year.

"The whole area is going to be the entrance of Southeast, and this thing is sort of just happening in stages," Woods said. "It's just part of a progression, I think."

wmcferron@semissourian.com

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