Local colleges get a face-lift

Friday, March 18, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:04 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

Historic buildings on Columbia campuses will be getting a face-lift soon, thanks to planning projects at Stephens College, Columbia College and MU.

Lela Raney Wood Hall, at Broadway and College Avenue at Stephens, has been undergoing exterior renovation and will continue its transformation on the inside. It will be the home of student services, administrative offices, a renovated ballroom and the school’s Costume Research Library.

Upkeep on the 172-year-old campus and the continuing growth of Stephens’ enrollment have forced the school to consider the renovation of unused residence halls on the school’s south quadrangle. The restoration will allow students to continue living in single rooms rather than doubling up in the existing residence halls.

Columbia College will have a new science laboratory building, and existing campus labs will be renovated, possibly for other uses. The new building will house the science department, including chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, physics and microbiology.

Financing for the building will come from fund-raising through alumni donors, foundations and other sources.

Missouri Hall, a building that opened in 1920, will be renovated into office space. The space was originally used as a residence hall.

Columbia President Gerald Brouder said that, if day enrollment continues to grow, the college would face the decision within the next few years about whether more student housing is needed.

At MU, 19 projects are in planning stages under the Master Plan. Although the projects are part of a detailed plan, most do not have financing, so definite start and completion dates are unknown.

Among the changes is a new performing-arts center housing a 2,000-seat auditorium for academic events, university gatherings and civic performances.

The center will be the new home of the School of Music, the theater and art departments and the Museum of Art History and Archaeology. A private hotel and conference center were included in the original plan but are no longer in the works.

A new Health Sciences Research Center marks the final step in development of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center as a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. The $175 million center will be east of University Hospital on the site of the University Hospital Garage.

A 2,000-space parking garage on the east side of Monk Drive will accompany the structures, depending on the health center completion and the need for more parking.

Ellis Library might undergo a $47 million renovation.

If the State Historical Society were to relocate, about 50,000 square feet of the east interior of the library would provide shared learning space, electronic classrooms and information commons for students.

Brady Commons will be expanded in December to include more space for student government, clubs and organizations. The project will cost $36 million, and is scheduled for completion in December 2007.

Engineering Building East will undergo renovation of the 1892, 1922 and 1936 additions.

General classroom and laboratory space will be created, and improvements will be made to the building’s exterior. Renovation planning is beginning, and construction should start in 2006 with an estimated $21 million in financing available.

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