Campus renovations are underway, on track
Lafferre Hall, Swallow Hall and the Dobbs Group of residence halls are all under construction.
Jan. 24, 2016
For the last few years, MU has seen a lot of construction, including new buildings being built and old ones being renovated. Here’s an update on the current projects.
Many of these renovations have been long overdue, especially in Lafferre Hall, which has a rating of 91 percent on the Facilities Needs Index. This means that almost all the facilities in Lafferre have needed updating for quite some time. After Gov. Jay Nixon issued MU a grant, the renovations were able to start.
Karlan Seville, spokeswoman for the vice chancellor of campus operations, said the 1935 and 1944 additions of the building are being renovated and 13 office spaces will be converted into five larger class spaces.
Seville said the renovations will add more advanced technology and classrooms. Before the renovations, there were complaints of water leakage from pipes; buckets would be strewn across the hallway after thunderstorms. The renovations will fix these pipes and add 20,000 square feet of research space as well.
Seville said there were no setbacks and that the renovations will be finished by December 2016.
Swallow Hall, which was first built in 1893, will be renovated to have a more modern interior, making it more usable for today’s technology and education.
Seville said the building’s interior has been completely demolished, but the original exterior walls have been kept.
This historic building has been trickier to renovate because it is on the Francis Quadrangle, which has high pedestrian traffic, Seville said. But she said there have been no setbacks in the renovations and the building is set to open by the time classes start in the fall. Swallow Hall will house the departments of art history, anthropology and archeology, as well as a new 100-seat lecture hall.
Jones, Lathrop, Laws
The Dobbs Group of residence halls is being torn down and replaced with five smaller buildings as part of the Dobbs Replacement Project. The three halls do not meet MU’s current five-story maximum residence hall style. This is a two-phase plan and the structures will gain 270 more beds and a new dining facility.
Currently, the Pavilion at Dobbs is still open to students, and Jones was demolished in spring 2015. The first residence hall will open fall 2016, and the second hall will open fall 2017, along with a new dining facility.
The last three buildings, which will replace Laws and Lathrop, are set to open sometime in 2021. The completion date is not set in stone because phase two is still in the process of being submitted and approved by the UM System Board of Curators.
Seville said renovations in Stewart Hall are soon to be underway. It is still in the project planning phase.
“We are not sure what direction the renovation will take,” Seville said. “It is still too early to make any specific comments.”