University determines student fees after study

Dr. Julio León

Dr. Julio León

Pushing ahead, Missouri Southern continues working out the details of the future of the student recreation center that will be attached to the Billingsly Student Center.

“Essentially we are trying to work the financials out of it,” said University President Julio León.

León said the University has requested an estimate of constructing the facility from the architects, RDG Planning Design of Des Moines, Iowa. This group is also doing the master-plan design for Hughes Stadium as proposed and approved at the Sept. 15 Board of Governors meeting.

“Based on that, then we need to subtract contributions that have been made toward our facility and the remaining portion of it we are trying to figure out exactly how much the students are going to have to pay in the form of a special fee,” he said.

León said the University is currently in the process of doing a feasibility study to determine these factors.

“I think that once we have come to the conclusion then we will bring to the Board (of Governors) a recommendation to charge that fee,” he said.

After that, León said the Board can give authorization to proceed with the construction blueprints the architects can finish up.

“We could use them to put out bids for the construction of that facility,” he said.

León said they would look into issuing bonds to pay for the project.

“Of course, the bonds would be paid from the fees the students will pay and from those contributions,” he said. “We are pretty optimistic that we are going to be moving fast pretty soon on it.”

León said the student fees would be as close to $100 per semester as possible.

“That’s about what we’re hoping for,” he said. “We would think that would be a reasonable amount.”

León said the fees would most likely be discussed at the November Board meeting.

“I just don’t think we will be ready in October to do it,” he said. “If not, it will be January.”

León said Student Senate pushed hard to have the recreation center. He said students today are more conscious about their health and well being.

“Most of those facilities are used by the athletic programs so much that the students are restricted from being able to use it all day long,” he said.

León believes students are more “desirous” of a facility where they can exercise and keep in shape.

“Today students want to get on a treadmill or run around a track because they feel that it is important to them,” he said.

León believes the recreation center will be tremendous addition to the University.

“It will not only help the students stay in shape,” he said. “It will help us as an institution to become more attractive to students.”