Campus offices set to change location

Amye Buckley

Last week, Physical Plant staff cleared the lower level of the Anderson Justice Center. It was part exercise room and part storage facilities, but by the end of this semester, the lower level will be turned into classrooms and office space.

It is the first in a series of minor remodels as Missouri Southern prepares for the construction of the George K. Beimdiek Student Recreation Center, a project which will extend the western end of Billingsly Student Center into a three-story fitness center.

Construction on the Beimdiek center project will begin this spring and is scheduled to finish in fall 2009. Bids for the Health Science building have not yet been finalized, but construction is expected to begin this year.

Some offices will stay in the BSC during part of the construction, while other areas will switch buildings for the duration of the project.

As you can imagine there’s all kinds of things that have to take place,” said Rob Yust, assistant vice president for business affairs.

First, Anderson will be renovated, then filled with people displaced by construction near their own areas.

“The idea is to move nursing from Kuhn over to that area to house them on a temporary basis, to free up Kuhn to move the Learning Center into Kuhn either on a temporary or a permanent basis, that verdict is still out,” Yust said. “Then free up the Learning Center, which is our ultimate goal, so we can move the bookstore into the Learning Center and free up the bookstore downstairs so that they can start doing the mechanical maintenance work on the building.”

For a few weeks, the BSC will be closed altogether said Bill Harrington, director of the Physical Plant.

“There’s going to be a period of time when we’re tying in the old mechanical systems with the new mechanical systems and the building will probably actually be closed for a period of six to eight weeks,” Harrington said.

Work on the classrooms and offices in Anderson will all be done in-house. While Harrington said emergency work orders and routine maintenance would not suffer, special projects may be delayed.

“I’m in the process of hiring two carpenters, two mechanical maintenance and a painter that will work directly with us,” Harrington said. “And then they will become part of the maintenance staff for both the rec center addition and the health sciences building.”

Yust expects to break ground on the Beimdiek Student Recreation Center by late this month or early March. The bookstore is scheduled to be in place before book rentals go out for the fall 2008 semester.