COLUMBIA — The Missouri Department of Conservation will dedicate its new regional headquarters — the E. Sydney Stephens Central Regional Office and Conservation Research Center — at 1 p.m. Friday.
Both the inside and outside of the $6 million building are ecologically designed. Verslues Construction Co. began the project in 2010. It used structural insulated panels as well as recycled steel, carpeting and metal to keep the "green" theme consistent throughout the building.
The building will be named after E. Sydney Stephens, who is considered a pioneer for local conservation.
Joanie Straub, spokeswoman for the Central and Northeast Regions of the Missouri Department of Conservation, called Stephens a local dignitary, "someone who had a huge role in the development of our organization."
The Conservation Department will also be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and will mark the occasion during the dedication.
Past and current members of the Missouri Conservation Commission, department staff, and directors and representatives from Peckham and Wright Architects, the Columbia firm that designed the building, will be attending the event. The public is invited to attend and tour the building, which was officially opened March 22.
The new building will replace the Conservation Department's previous research center at College Avenue and Stadium Boulevard and its former regional office on Hillcrest Drive.
The event will be at the new building. It is located off U.S. 63, just west of the Discovery Parkway exit and on the south side of East Gans Road.
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