COLUMBIA — A new $20 million facility will combine faculty offices, classrooms and a dormitory in one building at Columbia College to accommodate a growing student body.
The facility will house School of Business Administration offices, six classrooms and a larger event center on the first floor. A 150-bed student dormitory will occupy the second, third and fourth floors. There will be separate entrances for residents and faculty members, said President Scott Dalrymple.
“We have been growing very rapidly, and we just literally don’t have enough rooms to house the students,” many of whom have expressed interest in living on campus, Dalrymple said.
The college announced plans Monday for the four-story building, which would provide approximately 60,000 square feet of space. It will be located north of Brown Hall and south of R. Marvin Owens Field. Construction will begin in early spring 2018 and the building should be ready for students and faculty members by August 2019.
The college's Board of Trustees approved the development plan in April, and the Columbia City Council approved the plan in May, director of public relations Sam Fleury said.
Columbia College saw a 13 percent increase in student enrollment last fall and expects more growth this fall, according to a college news release. To better accommodate the growing student numbers, the college proposed a master plan to the council in April, according to previous Missourian reporting. The master plan includes other expansions and renovations to existing facilities.
The School of Business Administration was formed last year and is now housed in a building built in 1849. The school is also growing with additional full-time faculty members. The business school would benefit by being in a more modern 21st century facility, Dalrymple said.
Although a number of apartment buildings have been built in downtown Columbia in recent years, Dalrymple does not think Columbia College students are the target market for those apartments.
“They are relatively expensive to live in,” Dalrymple said. “Our room and board rates are very reasonable. They’re one of the least expensive in Missouri. And we do our best to keep room and boards at reasonable levels so students can graduate with less debt.”
Columbia College’s enrollment for day campus in Fall 2016 was 955, a 13 percent increase from the previous year, Fleury said. During the same period, MU's total enrollment decreased by 2,182 students, a 6.2 percent decrease from 2015, according to MU enrollment data.
Supervising editor is Mike Jenner.