Regents OK renovation plan for former church building

Friday, October 27, 2006

By MARK BLISS

Southeast Missourian

Southeast Missouri State University is getting a new alumni center.

The board of regents approved a design plan Thursday to renovate the former First Baptist Church sanctuary into offices for alumni services and the school's fund-raising foundation. Athletic offices also will be housed in the building, school officials said.

The project is expected to cost more than $1 million and include construction of a new entrance and plaza area on the west side of the building at 926 Broadway.

School officials hope the renovations can be completed prior to the start of the 2007 fall semester.

The regents, meeting at the St. Louis Club in Clayton, Mo., asked school officials to look at possible minor changes in the design. The regents said they want the proposed entrance to open into a reception area rather than a corridor if financially feasible.

"It is a possible revision," Art Wallhausen, associate to university president Dr. Ken Dobbins, said following the afternoon meeting.

In other action, the regents approved plans for further renovations to Kent Library. The renovations, which include new flooring and carpet on the third floor, relocation of the computer lab to that floor and improvements to the reference desk area, are expected to cost more than $780,000.

The board also renamed its three Bootheel higher education centers at Kennett, Sikeston and Malden to identify them as campuses of Southeast Missouri State University.

But at Malden, the building housing university classes will continue to be called the Harry L. Crisp II Bootheel Education Center to recognize the Crisp family, who donated the former bottling plant building to the university nearly two decades ago.

The Malden campus, however, will be referred to as Southeast Missouri State University-Malden and will be listed that way on a sign at the entrance to the property, school officials said.

The regents also authorized school officials to develop plans to beautify the campus pedestrian corridor that runs from Rhodes Hall of Science to Cheney Drive.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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