This Friday, June 18, we will host a celebration of Juneteenth on campus. The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union Theater and will feature a presentation by Dr. Lyle Foster on the historical significance of Juneteenth and the traditions surrounding its celebration.
The community gospel choir, led by Robert Gibson, will perform at the celebration.
Snacks will be available at no cost to attendees.
I want to encourage all faculty and staff to attend this celebration. Similar to the Staff Appreciation Picnic last month, I encourage supervisors to facilitate attendance by employees in your area.
Springfield campus closing at 3 p.m. Friday
Last month, on the Friday of Staff Appreciation Week, we closed the university from 3 to 5 p.m. We will do that again June 18.
Following the Juneteenth celebration, we will close the Springfield campus from 3 to 5 p.m.
Issues related to essential personnel, time reporting, and compensation for this closure are addressed in section 2.15 of the Employee Handbook. Supervisors will work with their staff on how to coordinate coverage if coverage is required.
IDEA Commons continues to evolve
I also want to take a moment to update you on new developments in IDEA Commons.
The Student Exhibition Center is transitioning to new gallery space at 326 N. Boonville, just south of Brick City and the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center.
The university has a contract to sell the old building on Walnut Street that has housed the Student Exhibition Center for the past 35 years. The proceeds from that sale will fund a portion of the construction cost for the John Goodman Amphitheatre.
The expansion of the Roy Blunt Center is underway, and tenant commitments are in place for a large portion of the new space. Brewer Science made a major gift to the university, resulting in the expansion being named the Brewer Science Innovation Annex.
The General Assembly appropriated $1.8 million to establish the Missouri Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in the annex.
The second-floor expansion of the efactory is complete with all of the eight new offices leased. The third-floor flexible conference and event space is also complete and ready to meet various programming and business needs.
Former Missouri Senator and current member of our Board of Governors Jay Wasson made a major gift to the university, resulting in a portion of the new efactory space being named the Jay Wasson Idea Loft. We recognized Sen. Wasson and dedicated this space last week.
Finally, the City of Springfield has unveiled phase one of its plan to daylight Jordan Creek. You can find additional information about these plans on the Renew Jordan Creek website or in relevant news reports.
We have been actively engaged with city and community leaders on this project. The project involves property currently used by the university, and we have collaborated to make this property available for daylighting the creek while minimizing impact on the university’s operations.
The university stands to lose some parking spaces to the Jordan Creek daylighting project. The university will replace these spaces by constructing new parking on other university property in IDEA Commons.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!