Reynolds Hall project continues to progress

The project to remodel Reynolds Hall took another big step forward last week with the hiring of Paragon Architecture. In addition, HERA Inc., or Health Education Research Associates, will help plan and design the laboratories.

Paragon recently earned the 2015 Outstanding Project Award given by Learning and Design as well the Springfield Business Journal’s 2014 Economic Impact Award. The SBJ also named Paragon CEO Brad Erwin 2015’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

“Paragon Architecture will be the most creative and practical group you can envision, and they will hit all time lines and budget markers routinely and accurately,” said University President Alan Marble. “I can’t think of anyone I could recommend more highly than Paragon Architecture.”

The company has had a great deal of recent success after designing projects such as the Springfield Regional Police and Fire Training Center. Paragon also designed Crowder College’s Davidson and Dawson-Spencer Halls, McDonald County High School, Downstream Casino’s Q-Bar and the newly opened Salvation Army Family Store in Joplin, among others.

Together with Paragon, University officials laid out plans for how the renovation will go.

“We decided we’re going to move the third floor off of Reynolds, remodel it for the labs that are currently on the first floor, then rebuild the first floor,” said Robert Harrington, director of physical plant. “To do this right, we’ve master-planned the whole building, so we know what’s going to go on each floor. We’ve got a plan in place on how we’re going to handle each one of these areas.”

Next up for the University is putting the project out to bid.

Southern requested qualifications on several contracting companies that are due back Oct. 5.

“My expectation is to have a company selected a week to two weeks after that and have the contracts drawn up,” said Harrington.

The way the project has been designed, the construction on Reynolds Hall will only take place on one floor at a time, leaving the remaining two floors occupied.

The renovation of each floor is estimated to take one year, meaning the project will not be completed until 2019.

“Can it be disruptive, sure, be we’ll do our best to keep it from being that way,” said Harrington.

Paragon, based out of Springfield, has been operating since 2003.