FROM READERS: Stephens College is upgrading facilities this summer

Monday, July 15, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
The third floor of Hickman Hall is being renovated to house the Stephens College dance program.

Janese Silvey is the story specialist/strategist for Stephens College.

Stephens College is in the midst of an aggressive facilities campaign that involves upgrading and modernizing the interiors of some of the campus’s historic buildings.


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Five classrooms in Dudley Hall are being renovated this summer as part of the Room to Grow campaign. The work essentially transforms the classrooms into modernized learning spaces, complete with Smart Board technology and larger tables that support laptops and can be arranged for different learning environments.

The work in Dudley is a continuation of last summer’s projects, which included renovations in four classrooms.

Crews are also working in Pillsbury Science Center, where lab space is being upgraded with a new ceiling, flooring, cabinets and countertops, as well as new lighting and audio technology.

“These projects essentially bring the interiors of our buildings up to modern standards while preserving the historic integrity of our campus,” said Richard Perkins, campus project manager.

The sale of Hillcrest Hall and the old Auditorium/Natatorium has also prompted some campus upgrades. The dance program, previously housed in the basement of the auditorium, is moving to the third floor of Hickman Hall, where dancers will enjoy a newly renovated studio, a lounge and a warm-up room. Renovations include new windows in the eastern façade of the building. The theatre department’s costume shop is being temporarily housed at Hickman, as well.

The fitness center once housed at Hillcrest has also been relocated. In the fall, students will return to find 21 exercise machines located in a renovated space at Stamper Commons next to the student union. The centralized location is expected to boost the number of students who take advantage of the on-campus workout room.

“Students want to stay active but the fitness center was just not accessible,” said Deb Duren, vice president of student services. “This new location will let them easily get in a workout between classes and other activities.”

Summertime is always a busy season for work in residence halls, with general cleanup, replacing flooring as needed and making any necessary repairs. Stephens recently re-acquired two residential halls — Columbia Hall and Wood Hall, which had been managed by a private developer who renovated the buildings in 2008 — and similar work is occurring in those buildings.

The college is now working with an architectural firm to assist in campus planning. That work will allow Stephens to set priorities for work on infrastructure and facilities in the future.

What's going on where you work, or with organizations you're involved in? This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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