Crowder lands $1.3 million for capital project

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Updated exterior, expansion, added classrooms

A $1.3 million project to celebrate 20 years of Crowder’s campus in Cassville will offer more space, more classrooms and a new look to the exterior of the building.

Amy Rand, vice president of finance for Crowder College, said $2 million was secured through capital request through the state of Missouri, and the completion date is set for fall 2019.

“It kind of works like a grant, but it is not titled a grant,” she said. “Last summer, the governor’s office withheld about one-third of it, which gives us the $1.3 million.

“We are very appreciative of now-State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick securing those funds for us.”

Rand said the college applied for the funds in 2017, and over the summer of 2018 the $1.3 million was secured.

Angela Seymour, director of Crowder Cassville, said Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, when he was in his position, worked with Crowder to secure funding.

“He sent through a proposed line item for the Missouri state budget that included this funding project,” she said. “Colleges and community colleges across the state have several things that get added to the budget, and this is the first time that the Crowder Cassville has been awarded funding.”

Seymour said the funding was specifically aimed for this project and this campus.

“We are so excited for the $1.3 million, because this project wouldn’t have happened without it,” she said.

Seymour said the expansion will go out to the east of the administration building, and it will connect the administration and academic buildings.

“This way, students will come in one single entrance and can access both building from inside,” she said. “Also, the student lounge will move out to the front, and we are adding a couple of study rooms.”

Seymour said all the offices will move out front, and the current offices will be demolished, as well as the bookstore, to make room for two new large classrooms and a larger bookstore.

“One thing that the students always talk about is wanting to have access to better food and more space in the bookstore,” she said. “All of the sidewalks and stairs in the front of the building will kind of move into that front row of parking.”

Seymour said the building itself will start just a few feet into the current parking lot.

“That front part of the building will be at a higher elevation than the rest of the buildings, so there will be a vaulted ceiling in the student lounge area,” she said. “It will incorporate some stone face and other materials, then we will re-do two sides of the building to match.”

Seymour said the sides facing Rodeo Road and Business 37 will get new materials on them, as well as some new windows.

“It is going to look so nice,” she said. “The building will look uniform on those three sides, because the material will tie it all together.”

Seymour said the front entrance of the building will be tall and collegiate looking.

“Aside from the look, the expansion will add classroom space,” she said. “It will move the testing area closer to the offices, which logistically make sense.”

Seymour said this will all help student services improve.

“With the additional classroom space, it allows us to use a room in the academic building as an additional nursing skills lab,” she said. “So nursing will get double the skill lab space they have now.”

Seymour said this is the first phase of the project, and if they were to get the second phase and an additional $2 million, it would build an entire nursing wing.

“We are doing the primary build plan, then we had alternate bids that had been accepted,” she said. “This initial project or phase includes, the expansion, connecting the two buildings, putting on the new face to the building and the windows.”

Seymour said this includes the new nursing skills lab, because there is no construction for that, it will be just moving rooms.

“This phase will hopefully be completed in October 2019,” she said. “We have long term plans for the use of the space.”

Seymour said the expansion in front of the community building, for nursing and science is not a part of this bid process.

“We have done all of the architecture renderings and engineering plans for that as part of the original process,” she said. “However, that is a separate project that is completely based on funding, and if we get it.”

Seymour said the campus would have what they have today without the building that is there.

“We are so appreciative of what was built for us in the past,” she said. “We are also very excited what is to come in the near future. It has been a wonderful facility, and we love to see it grow.”

Seymour said in the summer of 2009 the Cassville campus was moved to where it stands now.

“To have a new expansion 10 years after the move, in 2019, is kind of amazing,” she said. “The groundbreaking is scheduled for March 4, at 10 a.m.”

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