Stephens College plans to sell two properties to college-preparatory academy

Monday, December 10, 2012 | 7:15 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Stephens College has agreed to sell two campus properties to the Hagan Scholarship Foundation.

The Hagan Scholarship Foundation will use the sites for its new college-preparatory academy.

Hillcrest Hall and the old Stephens Auditorium and Natatorium complex will be demolished in order to construct buildings that will function as dormitories, classrooms and administrative offices, Hagan Scholarship Foundation spokesperson Mark Farnen said.

The sale of the properties is dependent on the rezoning of the sites by the city. Rezoning would restrict future use of the sites to activities of the scholarship foundation or the construction of professional office buildings.

Local and national developers have shown interest in constructing student housing on the properties in the past, but Stephens College President Dianne Lynch said in a press release that the college agreed to sell the properties to the Hagan Scholarship Foundation because the foundation "shares the College's educational mission and values."

The future space needs of the college did not include the two properties, according to the college's strategic plan, which was approved in 2012, Lynch said in the release.

Foundation officials hope that 50 students and approximately another 50 teachers and administrators will live and attend class at the academy the first year, Farnen said.

The Hagan Scholarship Foundation awards up to 150 scholarships each year to students in rural counties. Each scholarship has a maximum value of $5,000. 

Dan Hagan, the grantor of the foundation, is a Columbia real estate developer who attended MU without incurring debt, according to the foundation’s website. 

Recipients of scholarships are limited to those who live in rural counties with populations of less than 50,000. Hagan attended four small public schools in rural counties, and he “intends to help others in circumstances similar to those he experienced as a young man,” according to the foundation’s website. 

The Hagan Scholarship Foundation and Stephens College administrators plan to meet with City Council representatives, city representatives, neighborhood associations and community members to further discuss details of construction plans.

Supervising editor is Karen Miller.

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