In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I want to review the highlights of the Board of Governors Retreat, which occurred all day on Aug. 1. The Board approved the University goals for 2013-14 and identified facilities as a special point of emphasis.
Eight goals for 2013-14
The major agenda item for the retreat was to identify the goals for 2013-14. Based on previous discussions with the Board and building on the goals from previous years, the members of Administrative Council and I had drafted a set of goals for the Board’s review. Those draft goals were the basis for the discussion.
Coming out of the Retreat, we identified eight goals for 2013-14:
Continue to achieve modest annual growth consistent with the long-range plan goals.
Allocate, reallocate and generate new resources to achieve University priorities.
Develop the evidence to meet the criterion and core components necessary to achieve continued accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), as well as other major accrediting agencies.
- Diversity and inclusion
Improve recruitment and retention of a diverse student body and workforce.
- Student success
Expand high-quality academic programs to increase opportunities for students.
- Facilities and sustainability
Design, bid and identify funding sources and begin construction on priority academic and auxiliary facilities, with a continued campus-wide emphasis on sustainability.
Be competitive, compliant and successful in the classroom.
- Raising the profile
Continue to find ways to more effectively “tell the Missouri State story” to ever-increasing numbers of people in Missouri, the nation and around the world.
I will have more to say about all of these at the annual State of the University address at noon on Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Plaster Student Union Theater. I hope you will plan to attend.
Facilities for the future
Of the eight goals, the “big initiative” the Board identified was to significantly improve our facilities over the next five years. This emphasis was based on our previous presentations of the needs and options over the past several months; the Board’s own discussions in recent months; and the Board’s tour of facilities in May. I want to provide an overview of our facilities plan for you, including funding sources.
Facilities matter. They impact the quality of our academic programs. They are one of the keys to our accreditations. They significantly impact the other seven goals. Facilities matter to our current faculty, staff and students. They matter as we compete for the best students and for the best faculty. They matter to our alumni and the community. Facilities matter to all of us. They are important to our success in the future.
It has been more than a dozen years since the state legislature approved a comprehensive statewide capital appropriation for higher education. With the exception of the renovation of Siceluff Hall through the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative funding from the state, the progress we have made on facilities during that time has been through private contributions, University-issued bonds and the University’s own reserves and current funds.
We need some specific new facilities, plus we now have $105 million in deferred maintenance on our campuses.
I provide this background to emphasize that we must set priorities and be open to various forms of funding if we are to address our capital needs. We have identified the priority needs, plans and costs below. We are likely to bundle some of these costs into one or more academic and auxililary bond issues and then make the payments from the appropriate sources.
Important note: none of these projects will limit our ability to increase faculty and staff compensation because ongoing general fund money will not be used to construct any facility referenced below.
Academic facility priorities
Our two fastest-growing colleges are the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) and the College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS), and the College of Business (COB) remains our largest college. Therefore, we will focus many of our resources to address the space needs and the condition of the buildings in those three colleges.
We have contracted with a consultant to look at the short-term needs in CHHS and CNAS and to explore options to address those needs. Pending confirmation from this study, we would anticipate proceeding with these projects:
Pummill Hall —The hospitality and restaurant administration program will be relocated from the Professional Building to the third and fourth floors of Pummill Hall. This will address the space requirements of HRA accreditation while allowing the Professional Building space to be reallocated to health programs. The University Space Allocation Advisory Committee is currently reviewing options for which academic departments best fit in the remaining two floors of the building. We estimate the Pummill Hall project will cost $4.5 million, which will be funded through private gifts and University resources (maintenance and repair budget, classroom upgrade budget and reserves). The renovation will begin in January 2014 and be completed by January 2015.
McQueary Hall — We plan to build an addition to McQueary Family Health Sciences Hall. This will help address the classroom, laboratory and office space we need to accommodate health programs, including the new occupational therapy program. We estimate this project will cost approximately $15 million, which will be funded through private gifts and University resources, specifically the $825,000 ongoing state appropriation to support the occupational therapy program, which can be used to help pay bonds for this project. We hope to start this project by fall 2014 and be completed by fall 2015.
Plaster Center — The Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development is up and running with several tenants. It does, however, still have approximately 30,000-square-feet of space yet to be developed. We are in the process of identifying which unit(s) fit best there to help us address our space needs in the health and science areas. When it occurs, we plan to fund this further development with University reserve funds.
Glass Hall — We have hired an architectural firm and are proceeding with plans to expand and renovate David D. Glass Hall for the College of Business. An approximate 40,000-square-foot addition is planned for the east end of Glass Hall to create the Student Success Center. In addition, the interior finishes of the public spaces in the existing building will be renovated. This project is estimated to cost $25 million, which will be funded through at least $10 million in private gifts, plus revenue from the college-specific student fee passed by the Board of Governors last year. We will not move forward with construction until the necessary funds have been received or pledged.
Ellis Hall — In the near future, we will begin looking at how Ellis Hall can best be utilized, and we will begin plans to renovate Ellis Hall after the Pummill Hall renovation is completed.
Welcome Center — The Welcome Center will be located at the new entrance of National Avenue and Bear Boulevard (formerly Monroe Street). We intend for this facility to be constructed this coming year and opened before the end of calendar year 2014. It will be the first stop for visitors, especially prospective students and families. We estimate the cost of the Welcome Center to be $4 million. Our plan is to use the $1 million we received from the insurance company in the Bookstore theft claim as the University’s contribution for this project. The remainder of the cost will be paid for from private gifts.
Auxiliary facilities — housing
We need to constantly refresh and upgrade our housing options for students. We have three major projects planned over the next couple of years.
Woods House and Kentwood Hall — Both of these facilities will get major renovations in the summer of 2014. We estimate the total cost for the two will be $4 million, which will be funded through the residence hall system.
Sunvilla Tower — We plan to complete a major renovation of Sunvilla during the 2014-15 year, with work beginning in the summer of 2014 and being completed in time for fall 2015. Our goal is to make Sunvilla the “best value option” for students who wish to live on campus. We estimate the cost of this project will be at least $8 million, which will be funded through the residence hall system.
Auxiliary facilities — athletics and recreation
With Title IX, safety concerns and our desire to provide our student-athletes with every opportunity to be competitive, we are discussing a number of changes in athletic facilities. An important part of our discussion is how the newly configured facilities also benefit recreation opportunities for the entire student body.
The overall plan is to develop more venues for specific sports and lessen the pressure on Plaster Sports Complex. In the process, we will expand outdoor recreational facilities for students.
Plaster Sports Complex — There are several changes planned for this facility:
- The east bleachers, which are several decades old, will be removed following the 2013 football season. If a student-initiated fee is passed in October, new grandstands with amenities for students will be constructed closer to the field. If the fee fails, all fans will sit on the west side.
- The artificial playing surface is due to be replaced following the 2013 football season. When it is replaced, the field will be moved several feet toward the west stands.
- The track, which is not in good enough shape to host a conference meet, will be removed. This entire project, including the new east grandstand that must be approved by students, is currently estimated to cost $12 million which will be funded through a combination of the proposed student fee, private gifts and University reserves.
New soccer/track/recreation venue — A new artificial surface soccer field with a new track is planned for the field north of Glass Hall. We hope to include seating for about 1,000 with a modest press box and appropriate signage and score board. This field also will be scheduled for student recreation. We estimate the cost of this project will be $6 million, which will be funded through University reserves, the proposed student athletic/recreation fee and private gifts.
New field hockey/lacrosse venue — A new artificial surface for field hockey and lacrosse will be constructed on the location of the current softball practice field and extend to Cherry Street. This project is estimated to cost $4 million, which will be funded by University reserves, the student athletic/recreation fee and private gifts.
JQH Arena locker room complex — Work on the Jim D. Morris Basketball Complex in JQH Arena is progressing on schedule. It should be completed in early November. It includes locker rooms, offices and meeting space for the Bears and Lady Bears basketball teams. The project will cost $3.5 million and is being funded totally through private gifts.
Mary Jo Wynn Achievement Center — This Center, located in the Forsythe Athletics Center, will be completed during 2014. It is being funded totally through private gifts.
Bonding from the state
As you remember, this past spring the Missouri General Assembly discussed the possibility of bonding a capital package for higher education and other state facilities. The measure passed the House, but did not have time to be discussed in the Senate. We are told that the possibility of bonding higher education projects will be on the agenda again next year.
There are many differences between the House preference (new construction) and the Senate preference (maintenance and repair), as well as the method by which the bonding would be accomplished. We are well-positioned to respond to whichever direction our legislators go, and we will continue to work closely with them on this possibility. In the meantime, I do not think we can afford to wait on this funding before moving forward with our plans.
Photo by Michael Buckner
The new academic year will be here soon, and I look forward to another great year working with you. I hope you will help kick the year off with me at the New Student Convocation at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, in JQH Arena. This year’s event will be special as we present John Goodman the honorary doctorate and hear his remarks. In addition to the new students and their families, I hope many faculty, staff and current students will participate.