Hearnes renovation to provide more opportunities for students

Jessica Link

Construction at Hearnes Hall has caused traffic congestion and inconvenience for students and faculty alike.

According to those in the financial aid office, the hassle is well worth it.

“We are very, very excited about the renovations on the first floor,” Becca Diskin, financial aid director, said.

She explained that the new financial aid space will include a special student area.

This student area will include a lab in the front reception.

“[In the lab] we can assist, if needed, in filling out scholarship applications or FAFSA, terms and conditions [of scholarship applications], and accepting awards [for scholarships],” Diskin said.

She said this will expedite paperwork.

“So for students coming in, especially new students to Missouri Southern, coming in wanting general information or wanting to get things started, we will be able to take care of everything on the first floor; you know, business will be able to take care of on the first floor,” She said.

Renovations on the first floor of Hearnes have caused many departments to change location.

In a staff senate meeting on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, Rob Yust and other staff members discussed the renovation.

“The English department, which is now located on the third floor of Hearnes, will need to move first,” Yust said.

“Kuhn Hall is undergoing renovation now so English can move in. The Dean of Arts and Sciences office will move to Webster in the Honors area. Honors will move to Taylor Hall.”

Financial aid has also been moved to the third floor.

“The floor plan of the first floor will change,” Colleen Smith, a staff member in the financial aid office said.

“Financial aid, bursar’s office, and academic affairs will all be on the same floor.

“The entrance to the first floor will change drastically.

“Stone will be taken out and will be replaced with glass. The offices inside will be walled in with glass as the Billingsly Student Center is now. The entrance to the first floor Hearnes will also resemble Billingsly.”

Diskin explained how the entryway to the first floor of Hearnes will be updated, possibly with flat-screen TVs in front of each office so that students can view the most recent news of that office while waiting in line.

Yust estimated last March the renovation would be completed in summer 2011. However, currently, both Diskin and Smith say they would set the date closer to April 2012.