Joplin, MO – Missouri Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon will be the special guest during a groundbreaking ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, for a new building that will bear his name at Missouri Southern State University.

The ceremony will be held on the Oval in front of Reynolds Hall.

In September, Missouri Southern’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to name the new building for Nixon, citing his efforts to garner bipartisan support for the project as well as his support for Joplin following the 2011 tornado.

In June, the governor signed two bills providing more than $16 million in funding for the current renovation of Reynolds Hall as well as a new building.

Located on the south side of Reynolds Hall, Nixon Hall will be connected via a skywalk off the main hall of Reynolds’ second floor. Designed by Paragon Architecture, the three-story, nearly 20,000-square-foot building will feature classrooms and offices, primarily for the STEM-field programs. Construction is scheduled to begin late spring 2017, and the building will be ready for classes in the fall of 2018.

With the Yours to Lose – Advanced Medical School Acceptance Program set to launch its first cohort next fall and the growing demand for courses in the STEM areas, the need for modern facilities for them has never been greater. Together, Reynolds and Nixon halls will house the important STEM areas as the university continues to move forward.

Among those scheduled to speak during the ceremony are Dr. Alan Marble, president of Missouri Southern; Mike Seibert, mayor of Joplin; Sen. Ron Richard, president pro tem of the Missouri Senate; and Gov. Jay Nixon.

“This is an exciting event for us,” said Marble. “It’s not only about continuing our growth on campus, but it’s a chance to honor the governor for his support for higher education, and STEM fields in particular, as well as his commitment to this university.”