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Mizzou Engineering launches renovation

Engineering senior Tyler Jackson moves laboratory materials to help pave the way for a $21 million renovation of Lafferre Hall. Photo by Marty Walker

Mizzou Engineering leaders will kick off a $21 million renovation of their campus headquarters Friday, launching a multiyear plan to rebuild the college into an interdisciplinary teaching and research hub.

The $21 million project calls for razing the civil engineering portion of Lafferre Hall—built in 1922—and replacing it with upgraded classrooms and laboratories useable by all the college’s departments. By adding about 30,000 square feet to the 70,000 square feet of laboratory space the college now houses, the renovation will allow both students and faculty members to conduct more experiments applying their theoretical research, college officials said.

“This project will have a direct impact on how students learn, and how we teach,” College of Engineering Dean Jim Thompson said.

University and community leaders will mark the project’s launch with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday on the south side of Lafferre Hall, along Sixth Street at Stewart Road. Actual construction is slated to begin in August 2007, and be completed by August 2009, said Marty Walker, the college’s director of administrative services.

Funding for the reconstruction comes from a $2 million federal grant and a $19 million loan approved by the University of Missouri Board of Curators last July.

College leaders hope this is the first of a series of projects that will modernize and upgrade MU’s engineering campus. Plans call for six more renovation phases—with an estimated total cost of $120 million—to be completed within 20 or 30 years, Walker said.

Whether or not those plans come to fruition, Noah Manring, Mizzou Engineering’s associate dean for research, believes the work about to get under way will retool the college for more efficient, cross-disciplinary instruction and research.

“The whole interdisciplinary environment this creates is what we’re after,” Manring said.



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