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Over the summer, Missouri State University took a hard look at how it could upgrade its student housing. Now, the university is moving forward with a plan to build a 300-room apartment-style building on Walnut Street in downtown Springfield. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark reports.
The MSU Board of Governors has voted to move ahead with plans to build the multi-million dollar building. MSU officials say it will feature apartment-style rooms that will give students more privacy. Ken McClure, vice president for administrative and information services at MSU, says that style of housing has become more trendy.
“Many now have had that type of thing. What we’re finding is that students more and more are seeking more privacy as they come into residential student housing. So we’re trying to take steps to address that.”
The expansion of MSU’s campus can be tricky at times, due to the university’s location within a part of Springfield that is already developed. McClure says this plan doesn’t include buying any new property.
“We are landlocked in several directions; this proposed housing unit, though, is going on land that the university currently owns. It will go where the old Kentwood South Apartments were on Walnut Street. We recently acquired an apartment complex just to the east of the Kentwood on Walnut Street that we have now razed, so we own that property.”
McClure says the university isn’t looking to acquire other properties, to the best of his knowledge.
“We always have people approach us about possible properties for sale, and in most instances, those do not make sense for us. So, certainly, if something were proposed to us that made sense to the university, we would take a very serious look at it. But right now, we’re going to be focusing on building that residential unit on property that we do own.”
McClure says that the proposed unit will fit in with the aesthetic appeal of the rest of Walnut Street, and thinks that aspect will attract students.
University officials say they plan to use the revenue generated by student room and board fees to pay back any debt from the project.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.