The Missouri General Assembly passed a bill with bipartisan support that provides an additional bonding capacity of up to $200 million for repairs and renovation projects at community colleges and four-year institutions throughout the state.
Following a tour of the lab areas in Reynolds Hall, Nixon announced his intentions to work with legislators that will allow a number of long-overdue projects at Missouri’s colleges and universities to move forward.
“Many of these projects will improve facilities in the area of science, math, engineering and technology … our STEM fields, which are high-demand fields for creating high-paying jobs,” said Nixon. “And that includes the project that university leadership (at Missouri Southern) has identified as their top priority – renovation of the science labs in Reynolds Hall.”
In addition to the $5,228,422 requested for Missouri Southern, Nixon said that $1.9 million in bonding from the state would be requested for Crowder College campuses in Neosho and Nevada.
Completed in May of 1967, Reynolds Hall was the second building to be ready for occupancy on what is now the campus of Missouri Southern State University. An expansion in 1988 nearly doubled its size (to approximately 63,000 square feet) at a time when a rapid increase in enrollment was straining the capacity of the relatively new campus.
Today, Reynolds Hall houses the biology, environmental health, physical sciences and mathematics programs. The coursework offered in the building is in high demand, as it provides prerequisites to nursing and allied health students or is part of a major with a large number of students.
A Master Facility Plan in 2012 listed Reynolds Hall as the building in most critical need of renovation.
Funding from the state bond proposal would allow the university to renovate more than 92,000 square feet of lab space as well as upgrades to classrooms and electrical systems.