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With Management of Loft Building, MSU-West Plains Says More Benefits for Students


The Missouri State University Board of Governors has approved a resolution that gives the West Plains campus management over the city’s Shoe Factory Lofts.

With the agreement, the name of the facility will change to Grizzly Lofts, university officials said.

The agreement, proposed by the facility’s owner, will place the 274-person student residential facility under the university’s management for an 18-month period ending June 30, 2018. At that time the agreement can be renegotiated should the parties choose to do so. Howell Creek Shoe Factory Commons, LLC, will retain ownership of the property throughout the 18-month period, according to terms of the agreement. During this time, the agreement stipulates Howell provide $10,000 to the university to help market the Grizzly Lofts.

Drew Bennett, MSU-West Plains chancellor, says the residence hall’s incorporation into its overall enrollment management plan will enhance recruitment and retention.

“In addition, as part of the facilities management agreement, expenses for managing the facility will be provided by Howell Creek Shoe Factory Commons, LLC, with no additional costs being incurred by Missouri State University-West Plains,” Bennett said in a press release.

Dr. John Phillips is managing member of Howell Creek Shoe Factory Commons, LLC, says the arrangement will be beneficial to all parties involved.

According to a news release, the university says the management transfer allows it to increase the number of students living on campus.         

“Since its opening in August 1994, the 60-person Grizzly House, the university’s first residential facility, has been at full capacity with a waiting list,” the release read. Bennett said Grizzly Lofts gives students two housing options from which to choose. It also allows the school to apply its residential policies to students living at the off-campus loft. Additionally, students at Grizzly Lofts can have their housing costs added to their university accounts where financial aid awards can be applied to them.

As outlined in the agreement, the university will also assume responsibility for employing on-site personnel, establishing new residency requirements, among other duties. Howell Creek Show Factory Commons, LLC, will be oversee, among other responsibilities, paying for food services at the facility, paying all building expenses such as utilities, insurance and maintenance, and paying all salaries and benefits for those hired by the university to manage the property.