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MSU Students Approve Fee to Enhance Athletic Experience

Plaster Sports Complex
A new east side facility for student seating at Plaster Sports Complex will be among the new additions funded through the B.E.A.R fee./Credit: Scott Harvey

With 80 percent of voters in favor of the measure, Missouri State University students have passed the Bear Experience and Recreation (B.E.A.R) fee. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has more.

For $50 per semester, the fee is designed to help provide new and renovated athletic and recreational facilities on the Springfield campus. A Friday afternoon news released says that more than 2,900 students said yes during an online vote from Oct. 14-18.

The fee will generate approximately $1.6 million annually. Of that total, $200,000 will be used annually to enhance the athletic experience. 

The remaining $1.4 million will make the annual payments on approximately $20 million in bonds, which will allow construction of four projects. They include construction of a new east side facility for student seating at Plaster Sports Complex, a sand volleyball complex just southwest of Hammons Student Center,a soccer, track and field complex north of Glass Hall, and a field hockey and lacrosse complex where the current softball field is located.

The release states that students will not pay the fee until the projects are completed. Construction on Plaster Sports Complex is planned to begin immediately following the end of the football season, with a completion date of fall 2014.

“I am excited to see the changes that will be occurring around campus and can’t wait to see the impact that this will have on the university. This is a positive move for Missouri State University, and I think that this shows that students take pride in and have a bigger and bolder vision for our university,” said David Schneider, student body president.

Once up and running, all of the facilities will be available for student recreation, intramural and intercollegiate use.