Reynolds Hall renovations begin to take shape


Sierra Gray

Renovations to Missouri Southern’s math and science building, Reynold’s Hall are currently underway. The plan for the remodel includes replacing the chemistry labs with modern equiptment.

Cora Butcher-Spellman

Missouri Southern administrators have learned the school will receive an additional $9.4 million to continue renovations to Reynolds Hall.

“Last spring we received notification that we were going to receive $8.2 million to renovate Reynolds Hall,” said Rob Yust, vice president of business affairs. “The first thing we did was try to figure out what we could do with $8.2 million in the existing building. It was the best plan to move the chemistry laboratories to the third floor to allow for better ventilation. We had to gut the third floor and start from scratch. That area will be done by the end of this semester.” 

When the school was notified it would receive another $9.4 million, Yust said, “We decided to use [it] to add another building onto Reynolds.” He added, “The Board of Governors just approved naming this building after Governor Jeremiah (Jay) W. Nixon in appreciation for all his help getting us funding.”

“When we started talking about renovating Reynolds, we knew the main issue was that the chemistry laboratories on the first floor were in very bad shape, said Bob Harrington, physical plant director.  “Incoming students, like the students from Joplin High School, which has state of the art facilities, wouldn’t be attracted to this outdated facility.” 

Harrington also pointed this out as a problem for the influx of students attracted by the new medical school and dental school. 

“We knew we wouldn’t be able to renovate the whole building so we wanted to start with the chemistry laboratories, the whole third floor and part of the first floor,” said Harrington. “Early on, we were looking into renovating the whole first floor but we ran into issues with the mechanical systems. We would have had to rearrange the heating and cooling systems, which would have meant also buying new, expensive units. Renovating the whole first floor would have cost about $4 million, which is about half of the original budget.”

The renovations to Reynolds Hall include updated chemistry laboratories moved to the third floor along with added student gathering places. There will be glass-enclosed soundproof study areas and lounge-style computer desks and charging stations.