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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Your Guide to MSU’s Fall Infrastructure Upgrades

Scott Harvey

Upon entering the Missouri State University campus from the east end, you’ll notice the new Davis-Harrington Welcome Center, a $6 million project, two-thirds of which was funded through private donations, with the other third coming from a state match.

It’s one of the eye-catching additions as the fall semester begins on the Springfield campus, which once again underwent a physical transformation during the summer months.

President Clif Smart says the campus looks “phenomenal,” and has paid off when you consider enrollment growth. 

“We have the biggest opening day freshmen class we’ve had in 30 years. We have the highest opening enrollment in campus history.  I have to believe a piece of that the way the campus looks and the new academic facilities that we’re providing for our students and our faculty to work in.”

From the west end of campus, you’ll notice the addition of the $19.5 million O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center, paid for by a combination of private state money and student fees.  Smart says it will be fully operational in about a week.

“We could have begun having classes there last week but still really wanted to give the construction company two more weeks to knock out all the big pieces.”

The MSU Care Clinic within the O’Reilly Center is slated to open in October. The joint operation between the university and Mercy Springfield, which was approved by the Board of Governors last month, establishes a primary care clinic for the uninsured. MSU is furnishing the space, while Mercy will provide nearly all the staffing.

Pummill Hall, a nearly $7 million project, is listed among the renovated spaces that reopened to students and faculty this semester. The building accommodates the Hospitality and Restaurant Administration and Social Work department, with new classrooms on the second floor. 

Work on the lower floors of Sunvilla Tower, which was slated to fully open by the start of the semester, is behind schedule. Smart says the entire building is expected to done in two weeks. In the meantime, students on floors 3-9 are being offered accommodations at University Plaza Hotel and Holiday Inn express free of charge. New sprinkler systems allowing for fully furnished kitchens, renovated plumbing and ventilation, and completely remodeled restroom facilities make up the $13 million renovation project.

Additionally, crews are finishing up two projects at the Meyer Library.

“A new testing center and the trio space. All that should be done here in the next couple of weeks,” says Smart.

Five new labs are nearly complete inside Temple Hall, a $3.3 million project which was funded primarily with university reserve funds, according to Smart.

Crews also completed a roadway projects on campus, making John Q. Hammons Parkway between Temple Hall and the Foster Recreation Center more pedestrian friendly. The route features an expanded sidewalk similar to King Street and is now closed to vehicle traffic, with the exception of university shuttles.  

The next big infrastructure projects at MSU are the expansion of Glass Hall, which breaks ground in October, and then the renovation of Ellis Hall next summer.

View a full list of Missouri State University projects either in design, under construction, or completed here.

And above, hear the entire conversation with President Clif Smart as part of our monthly program Engaging the Community.