Jesse and Swallow halls close while renovations take place

Renovations in Jesse and Swallow halls are projected to be completed by April 2015 and February 2016, respectively.

Jesse and Swallow halls will close for the upcoming school year as the Renew Mizzou renovations begin, and services and offices in the buildings are relocated.

MU spokeswoman Jesslyn Chew said the Renew Mizzou project “calls for safety and access upgrades” with respect to Jesse Hall. Improvements include air conditioning, heating, ventilation, an alarm system, a sprinkler and a second elevator.

The construction in Jesse Hall is expected to run from this July to April 2015, displacing several key services from the building during that time.

However, Chew said services vital to students will remain close to the center of campus.

“It’s unlikely that students will be inconvenienced by the project because the critical student services will remain near the center of campus,” Chew said. “Offices such as Admissions, Cashiers, Financial Aid and Registrar whose employees frequently interact with current and prospective students will move to Ellis Library.”

According to Chew, Swallow Hall will close to install an upgraded modern interior, larger space for academic use and renovate the exterior brick.

The renovations in Swallow Hall will start in July and is expected to run until February of 2016.

The Museum of Anthropology, which is currently housed in Swallow Hall, will be moved to Mizzou North, where the Museum of Art and Archaeology was relocated due to the radiation concerns in Pickard Hall.

The decision to move the Museum of Art and Archaeology, which was made by former Vice Chancellor Jackie Jones, was heavily criticized for potential inconvenience and lack of input from faculty and students.

Feedback to moving the Museum of Anthropology from those in the Department of Anthropology, including Director of Graduate Studies Todd VanPool, appears to be more positive.

“We have had excellent support from the administration,” VanPool said.

VanPool said the move will only be a temporary inconvenience, and that the renovations would be useful for the department. He also said the project would also allow better collaboration between the Art History and Archaeology staff and the Department of Anthropology.

The staff in both museums will share an office suite at Mizzou North, and the renovated Swallow Hall will include both the Department of Anthropology and Department of Art History and Archaeology.

Vanpool said the reconstruction of Swallow Hall could have many benefits for the Department of Anthropology. The graduate students and faculty would benefit from additional high-quality laboratory spaces and a more comfortable building due to heating and cooling improvements, he said.

Michael O’Brien, College of Arts and Science dean and Museum of Anthropology director, said the museum will be able to provide the same research and education services it did in Swallow Hall, even in its new location.

O’Brien also said classes will continue to use the museum like before in the new location.

O’Brien said the new proximity of the museums could be beneficial to the public, by allowing for “vast anthropological and archeological holdings” to be housed at Mizzou North.

“I hope both the public and academic communities come to appreciate what I have referred to as one-stop museum shopping,” he said.

The project is projected to cost more than 21 million dollars and is funded mostly by campus savings and a part of Campus Facilities’ capital repair budget.

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