The construction for the $35.1 million for the Agenstein/Remington is nearly complete and the building will be open and dedicated on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
The vision for this project dates back as far as 2002 when funding was believed to be near for planning the project, but decreasing state revenues proved to be insurmountable for many years.
In 2007, Missouri finally found a way to fund many of its capital improvement projects for higher education with Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative.
The total amount allocated for the construction of the project was $35.1million; $30.1 million came from Missouri’s Lewis and Clark Initiative funds and $5 million from private contributors, Wes and Patsy Remington, for which the addition was named.
Construction began nearly three years ago with a ceremonial groundbreaking in May 2008 on Remington, which opened in fall semester of 2009. Once Remington was complete, faculty and staff moved into the new addition so that the renovation of Agenstein could begin with its completion slated for spring semester of 2011.
According to Dan Nicoson, vice president for university advancement, there will most likely be a “punch list” of items remaining to be completed after the dedication but nothing major.
“When Agenstein Hall opens on Jan. 18, we will have 120,000 square feet of state-of-the-art science and math instructional space,” Nicoson said. “This is double what was in Agenstein alone before the addition of Remington Hall. Agenstein was previously overcrowded and out of date.”
“Applied learning is a major focus at Western and the new research labs in Agenstein will be of great benefit to those engaged in faculty-student research projects. The new classrooms will be brighter and more up to date, providing the best in learning environments,” Nicoson said.
Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said, “This project is essentially complete, with the exception of the planetarium. The completion date for that is sometime in February. I believe that there may be a few small things left to do on the greenhouse, also.”
“It seems to me that the Remington Hall and Agenstein Hall projects have gone well. They were each completed on schedule and look wonderful. The faculty moved in over the break and those to whom I have talked seem thrilled,” Nicoson said.
Mel Klinkner, vice president for financial planning, said that change orders were still coming in so the total cost of the facility is not known at this time. “Part of the plan was to have some endowment money left for the operation, and we [Western Administration] think we’re in the $800,000 range at this point for that endowment, but we’ll have to wait and see,” Klinkner said.
With the completion of the construction projects, Western students will enjoy state-of-the-art labs and some of the newest facilities for research and learning in the state.