Reynolds Hall moves one step closer to renovation

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Model shows potential renovation plans for Reynolds Hall labs

Phaze Roeder, Staff Writer

In August, Missouri Southern received the $8.2 million needed to start construction of Reynolds Hall through state legislation. September brought more news of progress when Paragon Architecture was hired.

Robert Harrington, Director of Physical Plant said, “We narrowed it down to 3 firms.. The other two basically stood up and gave their presentation. We walked in for Paragons and they had a model maker with this magnetic board that had the rooms laid out, and we could put in everything from white boards to the sinks to the counterwork.. so the professors have complete control over their own classrooms.. I was very impressed with these people.”

On Nov. 9, after weeks of requests for qualifications in search of a construction manager at-risk, the project selection committee (consisting of Marsi Archer, Department Head for Chemical and Physical Science, Crystal Lemmons from the Biology, Kerry Johnson from the Math, Rob Yust Vice President from the Business Affairs, Paula Carson Vice President of Academic Affairs and Robert Harrington signed with Crossland Construction out of Columbus, Kans. following budget discussions.

“The contractor gives us the guaranteed max price (of construction) and if they exceed that price, they have to pay the difference. It ensures it comes within budget and we don’t lose money,” Harrington said.

The initial schematic design will remain the same. The first floor, consisting of primarily the organic chemistry and general chemistry labs, will move to the third floor with complete renovation of the third floor and two large areas on the first floor, and some general aesthetic updates of 2 classrooms on the second floor.

Marci Archer is feeling optimistic about the finished project. “I am looking forward to having the entire Chemical and Physical Sciences Department on the same floor,” said Archer. “Not having to take chemical samples from one floor to another will be safer and more efficient … having our labs, offices, and classrooms on the same floor will allow for greater collaboration.”

In preparation for the pending renovation, the entire Biology department currently working out of Reynolds Hall, including 17 faculty and the department head, will relocate to temporary classrooms in the lower parking lot south of Plaster beginning in January.

These classrooms are being constructed from trailers supplied by FEMA following the 2011 Joplin tornado.

Missouri Southern was able to gain ownership of the 15 trailers for $9,800, which was covered by university reserves.

“The professors were not enthusiastic initially to come down here but It was amazing to see them walk through … I handed them a piece of paper and told them I would design the classrooms exactly as they wanted,” Harrington said. “They had complete input in how their individual classrooms would be set up.”

The previous completion date of Spring 2019 has been moved to the 2017 Fall semester.