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Academic Hall to open during Homecoming

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

(Photo)
A Southeast Missouri State University student walks past Academic Hall Monday, Oct. 14, on the Southeast campus. The hall will open to the public after two-years of renovations on Oct. 24, during the University's homecoming festivities. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has been invited to speak during the rededication ceremony which will be held at 5:30 p.m.
(Adam Vogler)
(Photo)
In this file photo, work continued upgrade to Academic Hall on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University on Tuesday, April 2.
(Adam Vogler)
After two years of extensive work and $23.9 million in renovations, Academic Hall will open to the public during Southeast Missouri State University's annual Homecoming celebration Monday through Oct. 26.

Built on the site of a Civil War fort on the highest hill in Cape Girardeau, Academic Hall was completed in 1905. It was constructed to replace the Normal School building that was destroyed by fire in 1902. It was originally the primary structure on the campus, containing classrooms, a gymnasium and a library, according to an email from Southeast's news bureau director Ann Hayes.

Kiefner Brothers Construction of Cape Girardeau provided general contracting services, and 57 local vendors, suppliers and contractors contributed to the project. The Lawrence Group of St. Louis was the architectural consultant, according to the university.

The renovation project was funded by a bond issue approved in December 2010 by the board of regents.

In September 2010, Academic Hall auditorium was closed because of structural concerns. Structural connections in the balcony of the auditorium were stressed, prompting the Lawrence Group to close it as a precautionary measure.

The admissions, registrar, executive and provost offices, to name a few, were housed in the building. The first office moved out in July 2011. Lenell Hahn, director of admissions, said her office moved to Memorial Hall in December 2011 and will return to Academic Hall the first week of November.

Offices relocated from Academic Hall during the building's renovation will begin returning later this month, and the process will continue through January, Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration, said in a news release from the university.

Hahn said she and her colleagues are excited about being able to return to Academic Hall.

"We've got a lot of new enhancements ... that will improve the prospective student experience," Hahn said in an email. "... We are all anxiously awaiting to see our newly renovated space on Thursday, Oct. 24th during the grand reopening."

Among the improvements, Hahn said, are the Experience Southeast Room, which will engage campus visitors visually and technologically through interactive elements, and the overall environment will be aesthetically inviting to campus visitors.

"We will have the ability to host larger groups with the capacity of the large tour room increasing from 30 to 48," Hahn said. "We are gaining an additional tour room and will now have a total of four rooms to meet with prospective families."

"Our new space is designed to provide the best customer service experience with an expanded admissions front desk and separate campus visit check-in location," she said.

Gov. Jay Nixon has been invited to speak at the grand reopening and rededication ribbon-cutting ceremony of Academic Hall at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in Academic auditorium. Free tours of Academic Hall will be available from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and students in period costumes will discuss the building's history.

Music will be provided by Southeast's Department of Music.

The building has seen many renovations and restorations, including a new copper surface for the dome and restoration of the structure's exterior.

One of the main elements is a centralized student services area on the lower level, bringing together Student Financial Services, including financial aid and student accounts, with the cashier's office adjacent to it. When students arrive at this area, they will swipe their student ID in a card reader and are placed into a queue that can be viewed on three flat-screen television monitors.

At the east end of the hall is a reception desk for the services of the registrar's office, career services and academic advising for students in the liberal arts, health and human services, University Studies, general studies and exploratory majors. Southeast's human resources office also will be on the lower level's west end.

Academic Hall auditorium on the first floor of the building will be reopened and available for classroom use; competitions; speakers; and entertainment, special, student organization, public, and faculty and staff events. Curtains previously covering windows in the auditorium have been removed, allowing natural light to fill the area.

Classes in the Department of Communication Studies will be held in Academic Hall classrooms beginning in January with the spring 2014 semester.

rcampbell@semissourian.com

388-3639

Pertinent address:

One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO


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Nice and pretty, now where is the article about the staff being paid the lowest among similar Universities?

-- Posted by Rocky B on Mon, Oct 14, 2013, at 1:22 PM

WOW. I've been watching and looking forward to the re-opening of this great building. very happy to know that a very good local contractor was much involved in this big job!!!...;-)

-- Posted by tennisnut on Tue, Oct 15, 2013, at 3:35 AM

This is the 3rd new 'copper' covering since 1970-me thinks? Now, the old green one didnt leak (again, I don't think it did?) during my tenure there--just looked "bad" according to whover decided we needed to recover it, which "they" did (early 70's,?). Now, we got a third one? When i was there i had profs who advised us to go to S.I.U for research because Kent didn't have the books, journals, etc.-seriously. Now they have coffee shops with still not a lot of books....??? Duh? Oh, we got a fountain--wake up students and fill it with a jug of Tide or Cheer for homecoming....show ur spirit!

-- Posted by skidsteer on Tue, Oct 15, 2013, at 8:44 AM

Right on stopsign!!!!!!! But that is just the tip of the iceberg!!!!!!!!!! Oh and I would go with Cheer because one it is homecoming and you are supposed to cheer right? HaHa!!! And two I would cheer whoever did it. Now the only question is which fountain so many many choices!!!!! :D

-- Posted by CommonCentsGal on Tue, Oct 15, 2013, at 11:23 AM

cheer so that is what the students are doing they are brewing soming up guess they are getting ready to PoP and drink the suds on home coming day.

-- Posted by falcon2412 on Tue, Oct 15, 2013, at 12:23 PM

Oh! is there up date for people that are Disabled to get in side to look around

-- Posted by falcon2412 on Tue, Oct 15, 2013, at 2:13 PM

Well, stopsign, why didn't you leave and go the SIU? Was it your lack of grades or lack of money or lack of energy. Every university can't be Princeton or Harvard. You got a good education at a bargain price. Is it a perfect school? No, but then name one that is.

Stop your complaining and celebrate your school.

-- Posted by ParkerDaws on Tue, Oct 15, 2013, at 8:20 PM

The extravagance of the renovations is a Dobbin's thing. He probably wants his name on the building. Reckless....

-- Posted by Whatacrock on Wed, Oct 16, 2013, at 1:08 PM


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