The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 20, 2013

Crowder College board advances discussion of new residence hall

By Roger McKinney

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Crowder College Board of Trustees on Thursday gave the go-ahead to seek bids for a construction manager for a future new student residence hall.

It was Alan Marble’s final board meeting. He is retiring as Crowder president as of June 30, after seven years as interim president and president, and 27 years with the college.

Later Thursday, Marble was named interim president of Missouri Southern State University by the Joplin school’s Board of Governors. He had taken a position this spring as special assistant to the president at MSSU. Marble will fill the interim post while the university looks for a permanent replacement for Bruce Speck, who was fired by the board last week.

Jim Cummins, Crowder vice president of finance, said the residence hall plan calls for a multistory building with 200 beds. He said after the meeting that the building could cost an estimated $7.5 million.

He said the building would need to be kept at 75 to 85 percent occupancy to service the debt. He said he was still investigating the best way to finance the project.

No cost estimates or ranges were discussed Thursday.

Cummins said the board would need to meet to give final approval to a construction manager if one is selected. The meeting could be scheduled before next month’s regular board meeting.

“It’s going to take about a month to get a construction manager on board,” he said.

Mark Aubuchon, coordinator of campus life, said there currently are 90 rooms in 11 residence halls. He said most of the rooms are triple-occupancy.

“Triple-occupancy rooms are kind of tricky,” he said.

He said a new residence hall would eliminate triple-occupancy rooms.

“That’s going to open a tremendous opportunity for admissions,” Aubuchon said. He said it would allow for more recruiting of international and out-of-state students. He said that if students are placed on a waiting list for a residence hall, as is now common, they usually go elsewhere.

Cummins said a proposed time frame could allow the new residence hall to open in 2015.

In other business, the board heard reports about customized training for area industries, how federal sequestration is affecting the college, and uses for Roughrider Arena. The Roughrider Rodeo is scheduled Aug. 16 and 17.


AREA OFFICIALS WITH ARVEST BANK on Thursday presented the college with checks from the Walton Family Foundation totaling $19,500.