The Maneater

Curators to vote on 'Renew Mizzou'

The project could close Jesse, Swallow and Pickard halls for close to a year.

The Board of Curators will vote on a $22.8 million renovation project called “Renew Mizzou” during its June meeting.

If passed, the project will involve several renovations in Jesse, Swallow and Pickard halls. The project will begin in spring 2014 and continue until mid-2015. Some renovations include upgrading classrooms and technology, installing new safety systems and running inspections of the three buildings.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the university is renovating Swallow Hall to improve its academic classrooms. The faculty offices, Lab 207 and the seminar room are all rooms that will be affected by the construction.

“We are gaining 5,000 feet of space for faculty offices and additional classrooms,” he said.

Candace Sall, associate curator of the Museum of Anthropology, cited Swallow Hall’s 120-year-old museum as the reason for its planned renovation.

“It has been on the renovation list for many years now,” Sall said.

Swallow’s classrooms and its technology are also getting much-needed upgrades, Sall said. In addition to these renovations, the museums in both Swallow and Pickard halls are being moved to Mizzou North, located on Business Loop 70. The university is developing shuttle plans to bring in more visitors.

Jesse Hall will receive new sprinkler and fire alarm systems. A second-floor elevator will also be installed to eliminate accessibility issues.

“Jesse is used by nearly everyone on campus, and we want to make sure all visitors can safely access all areas,” Basi said.

The university is also set to do maintenance on the air handling system while the ceiling is opened for system installations.

These renovations will take about a year to finish.

Renovation plans for Pickard Hall involve extensive decommissioning and testing for radiation. In the 1900s scientists used the building to conduct experiments with natural metals that contained radiation. The radiation was confined to areas inaccessible to the public but is still present in the building.

For the past five-six years, the administration has been testing those areas to determine how to eliminate the build up. This year, MU plans to vacate Pickard to further the decommissioning process.

“Testing would be extremely disruptive with people still in the building,” Basi said. “This way, folks can continue going about their routines, and vacating helps us to take a close look at how to get rid of this completely.”

It is unclear how long Pickard will be closed, Basi said.

“We expect to vacate the building in December 2013,” he said. “But aside from that, we don’t know what the testing will find.”

The Swallow renovations will cost $11.5 million while the Jesse Hall installations and evacuation will be approximately $9.85 million. The Pickard Hall testing alone will cost $1.5 million.

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