Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552
ahayes@semo.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HOME SWEET HOME
New residence hall, dining area await students

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 2. 2002 - About 300 Southeast Missouri State University students will call a newly constructed residence hall on the University campus "home" when the 2002-2003 academic year begins Aug. 19.

The new five-story residence hall, which has not yet been named, is located on the east side of Henderson Street between Broadway and Normal. The new hall boasts many amenities students have come to expect, including movable furniture, bunkable beds, suite style rooms, phone jacks, cable jacks and high-speed internet access in every room. The building, which will house 293 students, also features high ceilings, large windows and many electrical outlets.

Southeast Missouri State University is the only public college or university in Missouri to open a new residence hall this school year. The new hall will house primarily returning students, with about 70 residents per floor. A typical suite in the new hall is shared by four students, with two in each room. Semiprivate bathrooms connect the two rooms.

"Although the grounds around the building may need some additional work, the inside of the building looks great," said Jim Settle, director of Residence Life. "All furniture is delivered and installed, the utilities, including air conditioning and electricity, are working, and the laundry machines are up and cleaning clothes. Sod for the grounds is being installed each day, and helps to make the area look more finished."

The road resurfacing, a joint project with the City of Cape Girardeau and the University, should be completed in plenty of time for new student move-in on Aug. 15.

The Office of Residence Life, Facilities Management, and Southeast students will lead tours of the new residence hall during Family Weekend and Homecoming, when the Board of Regents will officially open the building.

Those who tour the facility will learn that the building is carpeted throughout with the exception of laundry facilities, which are located on the first level and have a large, adjacent television/game room. Floors two through five each feature a large glassed-in living room area with a view to the southwest. These areas contain a kitchenette, LAN drops and plenty of room for meetings, social gatherings, studying or just a place to go and relax. A second, mid-sized lounge on each floor provides a more social and intimate space for residents to meet. Also located on each floor is a designated study room designed for eight to 10 students to meet and practice a presentation or conduct a small group study session. The building also features the latest in life safety equipment with sprinklers and smoke detectors throughout the facility.

The hall's brick and stone exterior were chosen in an effort to blend in well with neighboring facilities. A large green space has been created behind the new residence hall, creating a welcome environment for students to recreate or to just enjoy the outdoors. With the addition of the new hall, the formation of a residential unit consisting of Dearmont, Myers and the new facility is now completed.

"We are creating a new community," Settle said.

A major component of the new community is the expansion of a new food service area in the University Center. The new dining space has been constructed on the former patio on the south side of the University Center. The former current patio is covered with a two-story glass atrium that creates a very open and pleasant dining environment. The new dining space provides seating for more than 230 people, a new entrance for the University Center, and the addition of a new food service concept.

"We believe the new residence hall and the new dining area will be very attractive to students," said Dr. Pauline Fox, vice president for administration and enrollment management. "We have had a lot of student involvement with these projects and have tried to meet the needs of students. They have been very supportive and very active in the process."

"Students drove every facet of the design," Settle said.

Fox said a new residence hall was needed at Southeast as occupancy in residence halls on the campus has increased steadily since 1997. She said rising occupancy rates in Southeast's residence halls are due, in part, to the University's ability to attract between 38 and 40 percent of its students from the greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

"Our commitment to requiring freshmen and sophomores to live on campus has contributed to increased occupancy and better retention of students as well," Fox said.

Jacobs Facilities, Inc., formerly Sverdrup, provided architectural and engineering services. Paric Corp. served as construction managers. Total cost of the project is $13.4 million, which is being financed through the issuance of bonds. The bonds will be retired through residence hall fees paid by student residents.

In June 2001, the Board of Regents approved a contract for consulting services from Brailsford and Dunlavey and Jacobs Facilities Inc. to assist the University with a housing master plan process. That process identified the need for approximately 300 additional beds in the residence life system, Fox said.

Prior to the construction of the new facility, Southeast's residence hall system consisted of 12 separate buildings, all of which were built before 1970. Two of the buildings in the Towers Complex were renovated into suites in 1993-1995. All five Group houses and the Towers main complex were renovated in 1999-2000.

 

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