Community, News, UCM News

Financing in place, Union renovation proceeds

A preliminary conceptual drawing of what the Elliott Student Union might look like after renovation.

After a few years of planning, construction is close to beginning on the renovations to the Elliott Student Union.

The Elliott Student Union Master Plan Phase I Project includes the addition of a 300-seat auditorium, revisions to the south entrance facing Clark Street and modifications to Steak ‘n Shake and the Union Bowling Center.

In a news release, Patrick Bradley said the renovations will make the south entrance more inviting and offer more aesthetic appeal to one of the most used buildings on campus.

In April 2017, the Board of Governors authorized KWK Architects and Cannon Design to prepare construction administration and design documents. The cost opinion KWK Architects/Cannon Design provided projected a total project budget of about $7 million. At the Board of Governors meeting Aug. 23, construction was awarded to Westport Construction in Clinton, Missouri, with a bid of about $4.7 million. The roughly $2.3 million difference will be used for costs of the project beyond construction, including permits, equipment, furniture and the storage and care of displaced furniture and equipment for the duration of the construction.

The project will be funded by the issuance of bonds.

Through Jeff Murphy, assistant director of media relations, Susan Brockhaus, executive director of administrative services, said bond pricing took place on Aug. 29 and the bond closing is set to take place on Sept. 12. At that point the funds will become available to the university for this project and a contract will be signed with Westport Construction.

Brockhaus said the project is estimated to be completed in October 2019.

UCM interim President Roger Best said the bonds issued to fund this project will be repaid semiannually over the next 20 years. He said the first payment will be made six months after issuance.

Brockhaus said the bonds will be repaid from auxiliary reserves. According to the news release, bonds for two previous projects have been retired, allowing funds previously allocated for repayment of those bonds to be used to pay for the new project. This will allow for repayment without increasing student fees.

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