With much of the preparation work completed or already underway, it will only be a matter of weeks before the frames begin going up for Missouri Southern’s new residence hall complex.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the three-story complex on May 1. Construction crews from R.E. Smith have been hard at work making sure the project stays on schedule.

The new residence hall complex is on track to open in the fall of 2015.

The new residence hall complex is on track to open in the fall of 2015.

“All of the under-floor plumbing and for buildings B and F is done and they’ve poured the slabs,” said Bob Harrington, director of the physical plant. “They’re ready to start framing. They’ll pour the slab for C on Monday.

“The sanitary and storm sewer lines are in place and the new water lines have been connected. The road behind the apartments and the parking lot are all laid out, and the lot is graveled.

“Framing on the buildings should start the first week in August, so we’ll see the buildings start going up.”

The $14 million complex will feature 51 student apartments throughout six buildings, the vast majority of which will be four bedrooms. Each bedroom will have its own bathroom, and students will share a common living area and full kitchen. Each apartment will also have its own washer and dryer.

The exterior of the complex will include an open courtyard and common areas, a pedestrian-friendly design and parking on the back side.

“The contractor is supposed to turn it over to us by July 1 of 2015,” said Harrington. “That will give us five weeks to get it ready for students to move in.”

While students returning to live in the dorms for the fall semester will see the work progressing, they’ll also discover some welcome changes to the existing residence halls.

“In Stegge Hall, we’ve replaced the carpeting and stairwell treading, counters and sinks, and upgraded the lighting inside the rooms,” said Josh Doak, director of residence life.

Blaine Hall, McComrick Hall and all of the apartment buildings have received new furniture, he said, and new carpeting has been installed in Stone Hall. The lobby of Blaine has received a coat of fresh paint, giving it some much-needed color. Other residence halls will likely receive the same treatment, breaking up the longstanding “institutional white” color.

“In addition, we’ve replaced all of the mini-fridges and microwaves in the private-style rooms in McCormick and Blaine,” said Doak.