Campus construction makes changes to MU

New additions and current construction gives the campus a new look.
Sunday, October 14, 2007 | 3:00 p.m. CDT; updated 12:11 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Are you “coming home” to MU this week for the first time in years?

If you are, then you might notice the campus looks a little different from the last time you were here. Current construction projects ensure that bulldozers and fenced-off “hard hat only” areas are a big part of the MU landscape.

In case you’re a little lost and don’t recognize very much, Phil Shocklee, associate director of Campus Facilities, lets us in on some of the major face-lifts on campus.

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

A “very prominent project on one of the most prominent parts of the campus,” the new institute involves renovating the Sociology Building and Walter Williams Hall and building an addition between them, Shocklee said. The northeast corner of Francis Quadrangle is the staging area for the project, and the thick green grass has become dust, as it has been transformed into the temporary home of construction equipment and materials.

The dedication ceremony is set for September 2008.

Brady Commons

The familiar campus hub, constructed in 1963, is facing two projects. The first is a new addition to the building’s east side, and the second is the renovation of the existing facility. The construction, along with the closing of Brady Commons’ visitor parking lot, makes the project a noticeable one.

“You can’t miss this one when you’re in the heart of campus,” Shocklee said.

Don’t expect to see the final product until January 2011.

Southeast Gateway

This section of campus, bounded by Hospital Drive, Stadium Boulevard, College Avenue and Monk Drive, will be an area of construction for some time to come, Shocklee said. University Terrace Apartments were razed over the summer to make room for new hospital facilities, including the Orthopedic Institute.

Construction on a new parking garage began in September. More work is scheduled to begin this spring.

Residence hall revolution

Three aging residence halls at Providence Road and Stadium Boulevard were razed to make way for the Southwest Campus Housing complex, which opened in fall 2006. The three new residence halls provide a more “collegiate” campus look, Shocklee said.

“(Now) you have the sense that you’re arriving on the university campus,” he said.

The College Avenue housing structure also opened last year, and a renovated Hatch Hall reopened this fall. Construction on Mid-Campus Housing, which will include the demolition of Baker-Park and Gardner-Hyde halls, the construction of a new residence hall, and the renovation of Defoe and Graham halls, began this summer.

These are much-needed projects, Shocklee said, since no new residence halls had been built since the 1960s.

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