Interior design plays important role in construction

Amye Buckley

The Lions’ Den re-opened this semester, but on the other side of the wall construction continues.

Rob Yust, assistant vice president for business affairs, spends most of his work week coordinating the construction efforts on campus. When the Beimdiek Recreation Center opens this fall, he says people will get the “wow” factor just by walking in the door. To the right students will see the Wilcoxson Student Health Center, to the left the recreation center and straight ahead the elevated track.

“It’s just that wow factor as soon as you walk in the door,” Yust said. “You’re going to see glass, you’re going to see weight machines, you’re going to see the jogging track, you could look out and see the pond behind it. The view is just unbelievable.”

The recreation center is designed around a mall-like concourse leading from the Lions’ Den to the bookstore to a circular lounge area and connecting the Billingsly Student Center with the new student health facilities.

The building is slated to open sometime during the fall ’09 semester. Right now, Yust said, they are aiming for October. There are floors to be laid and drywall to hang in some parts of the building. Painters are slated to start in the Wilcoxson Student Health Center sometime this week.

Students will pick up their textbooks for fall from the bookstore’s current location in the former Learning Center, but when the textbooks go back it will be to the new building.

“We’re trying to do it where there aren’t too many books that we have to move,” Yust said. “The students have them.”

Dr. Terri Agee, senior vice president, said moving from building to building is a major logistical challenge. With the health sciences building also under construction, Missouri Southern will have about 150,000 square feet of brand new space by 2010.

The Beimdiek Recreation Center will be the new hub for the campus, a central place to hang out with friends and a starting point for campus tours.

“It’s going to really boost our image and increase our enrollment and the desirability to attend Missouri Southern,” Agee said.

From paint chips to carpet squares, Agee has been involved in the decision-making process since the beginning.

“You have to look at all the considerations,” she said. “You have to look at the wear and tear you have to look at the maintenance of it. You don’t want it to be dated, you want it to be timeless if you can.”

She tries to incorporate the school colors, but still keep things from looking the same.

The student health center, for example, is a mix of soft blues and muted greens.

She has been through hundreds of different samples. Each area has its own theme. The Beimdiek Recreation Center alone has several different types of flooring: carpeting, the walking track floor and ceramic tile stretching from one end to the other. There is a navy carpet with soft circles in the student health center, a pattern for the ballroom and a “wild and crazy” pattern of green with gold stars in the theatre downstairs.

“We got a little fun in the theatre,” Agee said. “But like Rob said the lights are dim.”

The Beimdiek Recreation Center will open during the fall 2009 semester and the health sciences building is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010.