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February 03, 2011
Missouri Southern State University-Joplin is maintaining its vision to develop many of its aging athletics facilities, University officials reported today.

Plans for improving MSSU’s athletic facilities have been discussed for several years. In 2005, the Board of Governors created a committee to study improving the University’s football stadium. Chaired by then Athletics Director Sallie Beard, the Stadium Strategic Plan Committee studied the issue in depth and issued a report to the Board of Governors in January 2006. The Board of Governors then approved the creation of conceptual drawings to move the process forward.

Using the committee’s report as the foundation, a master plan was developed and released in 2007 that included several elements: an end-zone support building, a baseball stadium and renovations to the football stadium in a multi-phased approach. In 2008, the Board of Governors authorized fundraising to hire an architect to create drawings for these new athletic facilities.

“We continue to work toward the goals established in the master plan,” stated MSSU President Bruce W. Speck. “We recognize that the original master plan may evolve over time but the need for significant upgrades and modernization is clear. We are striving to do as much as possible for our students and for the community.”

The plan, which focuses on the use of the 130 acres owned by the University that is east of Duquesne Rd. and south of Newman Rd., allows for design and construction to be completed in multiple phases.

“Planners evaluated many different components and design options, taking into consideration factors such as making facilities accessible for users, improving campus connectedness, upgrading practice and competition facilities and connecting to the Joplin community,” Jared Bruggeman, athletics director, said. “We believe this plan developed by the University and the community will be realized. It’s just a matter of time and economics. We are being patient but we continue to pursue all of the possibilities.”

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