Skip to main content
Skip to navigation
University of Missouri

Building Forward

Construction and renovation point Mizzou toward the future.

Swallow Hall construction mizzou

A renovated Swallow Hall is due to open in spring 2016.

Building and maintaining campus architecture is typically a measurable undertaking, whether the topic is budgets, square footage or the characteristics of materials. But in Mizzou’s architectural alchemy, science and efficiency combine with design to produce a feeling of rightness, beauty and belonging. “There’s no metric for the value of the sense of place people have when walking through Mizzou’s campus,” says Heiddi Davis, director of Campus Facilities-Planning, Design and Construction.

To maintain its sense of place, Mizzou has a full docket of architectural projects. That can lend the impression that the university has unlimited funds for construction and renovation. But that’s not the case, according to Gary Ward, vice chancellor of Campus Operations. “When people hear about the need for classroom space and then read about the construction of a new softball stadium, it’s important to know that those are funded from two entirely different sources of money. We have two types of buildings on campus — education and general (E&G) and auxiliaries.” State appropriations and tuition dollars fund E&G buildings that house teaching, research and administration. Auxiliaries are self-funded; these include Intercollegiate Athletics, MU Health Care, Residential Life, MizzouRec and Memorial Union.

Most current projects benefit auxiliary operations, which provide services that students want and need. “It’s wonderful that we have amenities, such as dining halls, residence halls, student recreation and athletics facilities,” Ward says. “They help recruit and retain students. But taxpayers don’t pay a penny for those things.” With careful planning, MU provides such amenities in ways that keep costs reasonable.

Funding projects for the educational enterprise is more challenging. “Where rubber hits road is teaching and research facilities, which are state-funded,” Ward says. “Those funds drop most every year. Our funding for those needs is near the bottom nationwide.”

That’s why Oct. 16, 2014, was historic for MU, especially the College of Engineering. Gov. Jay Nixon, BA ’78, JD ’81, convened Missouri’s Board of Public Buildings to approve $38.5 million toward the repair and renovation of Lafferre Hall’s 1935 and 1944 sections. That was the first time since 2001 the state had been a primary funder of a major campus capital project.

“Today, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require some training in math or science,” Nixon said. “We can’t prepare our students for the jobs of the next century in facilities designed in the last century. That’s why this project is so important not only to enhance the educational experience of students here at MU but also to strengthen our state’s ability to compete and create jobs in the global economy.”

Part of the Lafferre project will add much-needed “class lab” space, where students complete work for their courses. Total enrollment was 32,415 during the 2010–11 academic year, when a study of classrooms, class labs and faculty offices asked whether Mizzou could serve 40,000. “We wanted to know where the bottleneck would be,” Ward says. The study showed  that campus contains enough classrooms and faculty offices. But instructional laboratories are too few, and every MU student takes a lab course. So, Ward is looking at existing buildings with an eye toward adding such space. “That’s the future,” he says.

Check out the following roundup of current campus projects.

Jesse Hall

When Academic Hall burned in 1892, a new structure, later named Jesse Hall, arose a few yards to the south. During the past century, its sprinkler and fire-alarm systems took shape in bits and pieces, Davis says. In early 2014, Jesse’s occupants dispersed to temporary offices across campus while workers installed modern life-safety systems. Planners took advantage of the time to replace air-handling units and the existing elevator cab. They also added a second elevator. The project eliminated about $8 million in deferred maintenance.

Swallow Hall

A renovated Swallow Hall, with an additional 8,349 square feet of usable space, will be home not only to the Department of Anthropology but also to art history and archaeology. By making the structure 3 feet taller, architects transformed a formerly unusable attic into an additional floor, giving Swallow three levels in place of its original two. The building’s footprint expanded on the east side, whose new façade maintains the historic symmetry of surrounding buildings. A new 100-seat lecture hall will add a valuable academic facility at the core of campus.

Missouri Orthopaedic Institute

Missouri Orthopaedic Institute expansion rendering

The Missouri Orthopaedic Institute will break ground on an addition this summer. Rendering courtesy of Campus Facilities.

Within a few months of opening in summer 2010, the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute expanded its hours of operation to 24/7 to meet an increasing demand for patient services. Since then, the institute has built additional operating rooms, exam rooms and patient rooms in shelled space, which was left empty, when the building opened, to allow for expansion. Today, the institute includes seven operating rooms, 20 inpatient rooms and 51 clinic exam rooms.

To prepare for a projected 93,599 patients by 2020, MU Health Care leaders have been working with architects to design a four-story, $41 million expansion, with the fourth floor dedicated to research space. Groundbreaking on the expansion is anticipated this summer.

Dobbs Group Replacement Project Phase I

demolition of Dobbs residence hall

Jones Hall was demolished in spring 2015 to make way for modern residence halls.

Laws, Lathrop and Jones residence halls, aka the Dobbs Group, were state-of-the-art when they were constructed in the 1950s. But their high-rise style is at odds with Residential Life’s current strategy of fostering community in part by keeping most structures under five stories. In a two-phase plan, the halls and their shared dining facility (Pavilion at Dobbs) will be torn down and replaced by five smaller buildings. The structures will house a total of 1,268 beds, for a net gain of 270. In phase one, the first building (as yet unnamed) is scheduled to open in fall 2016, followed in fall 2017 by a second building and integrated new dining facility where Jones was being demolished at press time. Three more residence halls to replace Laws and Lathrop are slated for phase two, which has not yet been submitted for approval to the University of Missouri Board of Curators. Mizzou will seek LEED certification for all of the buildings, which will have red brick exteriors, similar to others nearby.

South Providence Medical Park Building

South Providence Medical Building

The South Providence Medical Park Building houses outpatient clinics, a pharmacy, and radiology and imaging services.

University of Missouri Health Care’s new 85,512-square-foot building in south Columbia is home to three outpatient clinics, including family medicine, general pediatrics and psychiatry. It also houses a pharmacy, a laboratory, and radiology and imaging services. “From the start, we sought input from patients and families on the design of this building. Our goal is to offer comprehensive care for the whole family, from toddlers to adolescents to adults and seniors, in one convenient location,” says Harold A. Williamson Jr., who recently retired as executive vice chancellor of health affairs.

MU Health Care funded the project primarily through $30 million in bonds that the University of Missouri issued in February 2012. Approximately 250 employees moved from other MU Health Care locations to work at the new South Providence Medical Park Building, where they expect more than 100,000 patient visits in 2015. Williamson says that with the need for outpatient services expected to increase in the future, the South Providence Medical Park Building was planned to accommodate growth.

Softball stadium

Mizzou’s softball team is slated for a new stadium immediately east of the Hearnes Center. The current field is tucked in between A.L. Gustin Golf Course and the track and soccer facility, making the expansion of the field, seating and team facilities unfeasible. The new diamond moves Intercollegiate Athletics closer to its master plan of lining the southern side of Stadium Boulevard with Mizzou Sports Park buildings, stadiums and practice facilities. “We’re excited to be able to build a facility that will be a first-class showcase for one of our most nationally successful programs at Mizzou,” says Chad Moller, associate athletic director for communications. “With the new stadium, our fans will benefit from improved amenities, and certainly our program will benefit with much improved facilities for their daily operations, not to mention the boost with recruiting efforts.”

Lafferre Hall

Lafferre hall mizzou

Old sections of Lafferre Hall are planned for renovation by December 2016.

Renovations to 69,000 square feet in the 1935 and 1944 sections of Lafferre include repairing masonry and replacing deteriorated windows and roofs. The area will contain experiential teaching and learning labs, computer labs, and a student machine shop for team and individual projects. The work will add research space along with a floor of shell space for future growth in research programs. The project will eliminate an estimated $15 million in deferred maintenance.

Gateway Hall

construction of gateway hall mizzou

Gateway Hall will be Mizzou’s first LEED-certified new residence hall.

As recently as 2011, new residence halls did not appear on the Residential Life master plan, but with rising enrollments came Gateway Hall, a 331-bed structure near the southeast corner of campus. Students chose the name Gateway as a nod not only to its location at the edge of campus but also to its goal of becoming Mizzou’s first LEED-certified new residence hall. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifies a structure’s sustainability when it comes to site; use of water, energy, materials and resources; and indoor environmental quality. Gateway’s green characteristics include solar collectors to help heat water, a rain garden to capture water coming off the building and reuse of stone from Cramer Hall as interior decorative elements.