Western celebrates new addition

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An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 4:00 p.m., August 29, to dedicate the opening of Missouri Western’s newest, on-campus residence hall, Griffon Hall.

The ribbon ceremony serves as the formal opening of the new hall, but it symbolizes and represents a lot more to Western.

With the completion of the latest “on-time” construction project, as President Robert Vartabedian points out, Western will have a nearly construction-free campus for the first time in two years.

According to Vartabedian, the construction projects represent a total of $65 million dollars spent over that time in projects that have greatly improved many facilities here at Western.

Esther Peralez opened the ceremony by making several introductions and thanking many of the leaders that helped make the construction possible. As she introduced President Vartabedian, she made reference to his closeness to this project.

“There is also somebody else at the top that we would like to thank,” Peralez said. “Who is very big and very supportive… he’s also got wonderful taste: he’s helped us out with some of the color schemes.”

Vartabedian spoke about the number of construction projects Western has seen happen in the last couple of years here at Western and how rare on-time completion tends to be.

“I’m happy to say that another construction project finished on time,” Vartabedian said. “That’s really remarkable. Before I came here, I’m not sure I ever had a construction finish on time.”

Vartabedian went on to thank a number of people essential to the project, including Brooner & Associates for their hard work and timely completion of the project. He also made special note of how important financing was to the project in thanking Mel Klinker, vice president for financial planning and administration.

“If we didn’t have good financing for this project, it would have never gotten done,” Vartabedian said.
Vartabedian says that the completion of this project will help to alleviate the most frequent complaint he receives on a yearly basis: Student housing.

“In the past three-plus years, the one thing I’ve received more complaints for was being on the waiting list for housing,” Vartabedian said. “I’m happy to say thanks to the 225+ beds in this building that has not been a problem this year.”

Vartabedian said that the new building was already at 95 percent capacity and said that, if trends continue, we could be opening another building in a couple of years.

SGA Vice President of Residence Council Jordan Carney is also a resident of the new Griffon Hall and has been impressed with the progress made in her short time in residency.

“I moved in a day before freshmen could move in to their dorms, and a lot of things still weren’t finshed,” Carney said. “A lot of the tables and chairs weren’t in here. They’ve really done a lot quickly.”

All photos by: Jason Brown

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