Entering the building from the south side, students and visitors will be greeted by a terrazzo floor with a green and gold Lion head in the center of the spacious, multistory atrium. The main corridor features a cloud ceiling with frosted glass walls and doors that open into each suite. Next to each entrance are flat-screen TV monitors that stream continuous live information and announcements. In addition, the 40-year-old heating, air conditioning and lighting is being replaced with energy efficient systems.
Architects for the project were from Ness Design Group Architects of Joplin. Construction was done by the Bales Construction Company.
The original construction of Hearnes Hall, named for former Missouri Governor Warren Hearnes, began in 1966. The name of the building honored the governor’s vision and ability to reach across party lines to benefit students in southwest Missouri. Hearnes served as governor from 1965 to 1973. He died in 2009.
The building was originally designed by Frank McArthur of Tanner-Linscott and Associates of Kansas City. Due to a fire during construction, the building was not finished until June 1967. It opened for business later that fall. With 40,390 square feet of floor space, it was the largest building on the Missouri Southern campus until Taylor Performing Arts Center was completed in 1975.
In the decades following its construction, the building served two purposes. It housed administrative offices and other business-related departments as well as academic departments. For many years rooms on the second and third floor served as classrooms.
The new office locations are:
First Floor (lowest level):
- Suite 101 – Registrar
- Suite 105 – Bursar
- Suite 106 – Admissions
- Suite 109 – Financial Aid
- Suite 200 – President & VP for Business Affairs
- Suite 208 – VP Academic Affairs
- Suite 209 – Foundation & Development
- Suite 211 – Foundation & Development
- Suite 212 – Business (Treasurer’s) Office
- Suite 214 – Budgeting & Purchasing
- Suite 217 – Human Resources