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SEMO Regents approve River Campus construction
A motion to move ahead with construction of academic and residence space at the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University was unanimously approved Friday during a meeting of the university's Board of Regents.
Regents approved the design and construction of a three-story, L-shaped building to be positioned close to the Seminary Building at the River Campus. The project, with an estimated cost of nearly $24 million, will add more than 96,000 in gross square footage to the River Campus to combat what university officials have described as overcrowded academic space and the need for housing and dining facilities for arts majors who do the majority of their study at the campus.
"The first floor of the building will address the issue of academic space," said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration at Southeast. "It will house a 3,600-square-foot dance studio, specialized classroom space needed by the Department of Theatre and Dance and a large general classroom for art education."
Mangels said the first floor also will feature a choral rehearsal classroom, three sectional music classrooms, storage space for musical instruments and a choral library. The floor will be the location of a dining hall. The main entry to the building will be constructed with bricks salvaged from a handball court that was part of a seminary that stood on the grounds before Southeast began building there.
As for living space, residence halls on the second and third floors of the building will include 38 two-bedroom, four-bed units and nine four-bedroom units. Each hall floor will feature two lounges, laundry facilities and small music practice rooms. The second floor will include ` space.
The price tag for the expansion includes a parking area to be built on Southeast Missouri University Foundation-owned property on the north side of Morgan Oak Street to be used by students occupying the new residence halls.
It is anticipated that revenue bonds will be let by the university to finance the estimated cost of the expansion. Bonds will cover construction of the building, and revenue from housing contracts and meal-plan commissions will meet the annual debt service for the housing portion of the construction cost.
Dr. Ken Dobbins, president of Southeast, stressed the motion approved by the regents Friday did not include issuing bonds.
"The issuing of bonds will have to be approved by the regents in their February meeting," he said. "Then we can foresee going ahead with bids for the site work."
Dobbins said if regents approve the bond issue and bids are accepted for construction shortly thereafter, he hopes a large portion of work can be done in the summer of 2013 so there would be less of a noise issue when students return for fall semester.
The new facilities at the River Campus are expected to be open by fall 2014.
Southeast Missouri State University River Campus, Cape Girardeau, MO