Missouri S&T curators approve Campus Master Plan

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An architect’s rendering of an aerial view of the Arrival District.

The University of Missouri Board of Curators Thursday approved Missouri University of Science and Technology’s latest Campus Master Plan, which outlines Missouri S&T’s efforts to develop an Arrival District for campus visitors and create a more cohesive and connected campus that is well-connected to the surrounding community.

The curators approved the plan during their meeting on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.

“Campus master planners at Missouri S&T have worked diligently to create a clear path for visitors to enter the university and provide a sense of cohesiveness throughout our campus,” says Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani. “This plan will not only provide a welcoming front door for our university, but will also enhance our connection and partnership with the Rolla community.”

The Campus Master Plan is designed to guide Missouri S&T’s long-range physical development over the next 20 years. It was guided by Missouri S&T’s three strategic priorities – to build research, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking; to increase the university’s recognition and improve its rankings; and to increase recruitment and retention.

The plan is designed to improve the campus experience for all, improve existing space, create a safer and more connected campus, and make space for future growth – not only in enrollment, but also in research activity and business partnerships.

“One of our goals as a university is to increase enrollment to 12,000 students,” Dehghani says. “This Campus Master Plan will play an important role in helping S&T achieve this milestone, and the growth of our student population will in turn be a tremendous boost to the community.”

To help reach the university’s enrollment goal, the plan proposes a more visible Welcome Center as part of the Arrival District, with nearby parking for prospective students and their families.

Plans call for this new facility, which will house Missouri S&T’s admissions department, to include an auditorium and theater for presentations and panel discussions, a large lobby with electronic exhibits, a gallery area to showcase student creations, and meeting rooms to allow faculty advisors to meet with prospective students and their parents.

Currently these functions are distributed throughout campus.

Located next to an expanded Havener Center will be the Missouri S&T Innovation Lab, which will provide space for students to gather, learn, collaborate and create.

With a focus on retaining first-year students, the facility will feature active-learning classrooms, a student lounge and coffee shop, idea labs, gallery space, event space, makerspaces, and augmented and virtual reality spaces.

Plans call for Missouri S&T’s Student Success Center and the Writing Center to also be housed in this facility.

The Campus Master Plan also includes plans for the third phase of the Schrenk Hall renovation as well as a renovation and addition to the Engineering Research Laboratory.

The plan, in development since 2019, also incorporates the vision for the recently established Kummer Institute for Student Success, Research and Economic Development and future construction of a Manufacturing Technology and Innovation Campus north of U.S. Interstate 44.

The Kummer Institute was made possible through a $300 million gift from late St. Louis businessman and Missouri S&T graduate Fred Kummer and his wife, June.

The Kummer gift is intended to support initiatives that elevate Missouri S&T in terms of reputation and research, provide broad outreach to encourage greater interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and make a positive economic impact on the region and state.

The first building in the Manufacturing Technology and Innovation Campus, called the Missouri Protoplex, will form the cornerstone of manufacturing outreach, research and development for Missouri companies, governmental agencies and other prospective customers.

The proposed $104 million structure will be part of an envisioned Manufacture Missouri Ecosystem — a network of companies across the state that come together, virtually and in person, to gain the latest manufacturing knowledge and expertise. 

Future plans include construction of research and development facilities and a new general services building as well as upgrades to campus infrastructure.

In creating the Campus Master Plan, planners assessed space needs and analyzed current space usage. The plan considered four main physical drivers: condition of existing facilities; access, connectivity and wayfinding; infrastructure; and topography and land use.

The master plan update involved feedback from students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders through steering committees, advisory committee workshops, focus groups, interviews with key stakeholders and an online survey.