Inaugurated on May 22, 1906, Academic Hall has stood at the center of the Southeast Missouri State campus for over 100 years. Over the past century the building has become the icon ofthe University and the architectural centerpiece of the historic campus. When Academic Hall opened to students in 1906 it housed Gymnasia, Library, Statuary Hall, Classrooms and the Office of the President.
Over the years, surprisingly few major architectural changes have occurred. While the historic elements of the original design have been mostly maintained the building infrastructure is showing signs of age and if not addressed, will only accelerate the building's decay. Unfortunately, most of the infrastructure lies behind walls, above ceilings and between floors. In addition, the building envelope is also reaching the end of its useful life. The original 1906 windows leak air, contain lead paint, and contribute to energy loss in the building. The slate roof has reached the end of its life and its continued deterioration will impact other building components such as the gutters. Lastly, the original copper dome, the iconic symbol of Southeast, is leakingand beginning to fail. Valiant efforts have been made to patch and repair the dome, but have only put off the inevitable need for a complete renovation.
Three Primary Goals of Academic Hall Renovation
Replace Failing Infrastructure
Academic Hall contains a combination of original, replacement and modified mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems. Over the past 10 years pipes have leaked or burst, causing disruption to the building occupants and physical damage to the building. The scope of this project will include full replacement of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems.
Enhance the Student Experience
The student experience is at the core of the mission of SoutheastMissouriState. The existing student services are in need of programmatic and functional upgrades. The physical space is misaligned with its needs as well as current function. While most aspects of the building are ADAcompliant, there are programmatic changes in the Student Services that require improved access for students. A major element of the proposed Academic Hall renovation will be the implementation of a "One Stop" student services area. This will require shifts in departmental allocations, relocation of the IT department and a complete renovation of Level 1.
Honoring History While Preparing for the Future
The renovation of Academic Hall will include the refurbishment and restoration of the historic corridors, stairwells, and building exterior. The fabric of the original building will be preserved and serve as a backdrop for modern program needs. Major distribution of engineering systems will be threaded around the historic spaces, thus preserving and enhancing their architectural integrity.