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'Nexus" may boost SEMO shuttle service
Students who rely on shuttle transportation at Southeast Missouri State University will benefit from a "transportation nexus" planned for the 2013-2104 academic year.
The enclosed, climate-controlled facility for students to use while waiting for shuttle service will take the place of the existing open-air shelter located in the student-parking lot near the Student Recreation Center. It will cover a bit more than 1,000 square feet and will be able to accommodate more than 100 students at a time.
"It will certainly be modern," said Angela Meyer, director of facilities management at Southeast. "Students will be able to go inside and look at the shuttle-tracking system that will tell them when their shuttle is due to arrive. There will also be a unisex bathroom for them to use before they leave."
The structure also will house a vending area and have benches. There be Wi-Fi access, emergency phones and security cameras.
The facility is being built to alleviate vehicle congestion on campus, Meyer said.
"We believe it will encourage more students to use shuttle transportation," she said. "Instead of driving around campus looking for a parking space, they can park in the parking lot and wait inside the transportation nexus for a ride."
The building will cost nearly $650,000, with almost $250,000 of that from funding by the Federal Transit Authority and the Missouri Department of Transportation. The remainder will come from general-revenue bonds let by Southeast in 2008 to fund transportation-improvement projects. One such project was the construction of the Multi-Modal Transfer Facility in 2009.
"The transportation nexus represents the last of the projects to improve the transportation system at the university," Meyer said.
Last Tuesday, potential bidders for work on the latest project received information from university officials and members of the St. Louis-based architectural firm Trivers Associates, designers of the transportation nexus. Dan Willis, an architect with the firm, was happy with the turnout.
"A competitive bidding process is a good thing," Willis said. "We're going to find the best bidders for the job and get going."
Mark Vogel, of Kiefner Brothers General Contractors Inc. in Cape Girardeau, was asked at the meeting if he felt the transportation nexus was a worthwhile project for his company.
"The university seems to think so," Vogel said. "But like anything else, it's a business decision. We'll look at everything before we bid."
Bids will be announced Feb. 14, and contracts will be awarded subject to approval from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Construction is scheduled to begin March 18 and finish by July 31, just in time for the start of the new school year.
1 University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, Mo.